While April showers may bring May flowers, recent high winds are playing havoc on local landscapes.
A strong storm moved into the region Thursday night, bring damaging winds and periods of heavy rain. The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory, which means winds of 35 mph are expected, for the area from 11 p.m. Thursday to 8 a.m. today. Gusty winds are expected to continue into Saturday.
The National Weather Service cautions that the high winds could cause tree limbs to fall — something the area has seen quite a lot of over the past few months. Several years of drought followed by a historic wet and stormy winter has wreaked havoc on local urban forests.
Close to two dozen trees have fallen in Turlock since January, with Pedretti Park suffering a number of damages as three of the park’s eucalyptus trees fell during a storm on Jan. 20 and then another seven fell during a storm on Feb. 17, which brought winds between 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 55 mph.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging residents to secure loose outdoor items and prepare for longer than normal commute times due to the storm.
Another round of weather-related power outages could also occur due to the storm bringing down power lines.
If you should come across a power line, never touch the fallen power lines or try to rescue someone in contact with a power line. If a line falls on your car while you're in it, stay inside and wait for help. If you have to get out because it's on fire or filling with smoke, open the door and without touching the sides of the car jump out and land with both feet together and then shuffle away keeping your feet as close together as possible and not lifting them off the ground.
Call TID at (209) 883-8301 (24-hour hotline) or 911 to report a downed line.
Along with the winds, thunderstorms are expected in the area through Saturday and up to a quarter of an inch of rainfall. The Tuolumne River Watershed is already experiencing a historically wet season, with the accumulated precipitation at 56.58 inches or 184.3 percent of average as of April 4.
Heavy snow will also develop over the Sierra with two periods of particularly heavy rates into Saturday afternoon. Snow levels will drop to 4,500 feet in heavier precipitation today and will gradually fall to 3,500 feet into Saturday. Snow amounts of 1 to 3 feet are expect above 5,000 feet through Saturday, which will add to the already historic snowfall recorded this year that was at 165.5 percent of average on April 1.
Sunday is expected to bring sunshine and a high near 66 degrees, six degrees cooler than the average high temperature for April at 72. Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be sunny with highs near 70, but rain is expected to return to the Turlock area Wednesday night and into Thursday.