Saturday, August 10, 2013

The mystique of Metropolitan Fresno

The mystique of Metropolitan Fresno

By Sakura Honda
The Daily Magi
October 25, 2050

Metropolitan Fresno or officially Fresno-Madera, CA CSA is a metropolitan area in California's Central Valley consisting of Fresno and Madera counties in the southern area of Northern California. It is the second largest metropolitan region in the Central Valley, the first being Greater Sacramento, and 42nd largest in the United States as of 2010 census. Metropolitan Fresno is anchored by Fresno, the fifth largest city in California and the 35th largest in the United States. The metropolitan area's Central Valley location, which is one of the world's most productive agricultural regions, allows a large agricultural economy despite being increasingly urbanized.

Metropolitan Fresno, unlike the other metropolitan regions of California, is still largely agricultural and contains a large rural land area and is centered in the San Joaquin Valley. The metropolitan area is located between the larger metropolitan areas of California, bordering the southernmost boundaries of the San Francisco Bay Area in the west and separated from the Greater Sacramento and Greater Los Angeles Areas to the north and south respectively by long distances of rural and farmland. Additionally, the lifestyle and culture of Metropolitan Fresno does not reflect the San Francisco or Sacramento influence as other areas have in Northern California due to distance from the state capital and bordering an unpopulated area of the outskirts of the Bay Area. Instead, Metropolitan Fresno is more influenced by the interior valley region of California although as the area becomes more urbanized, it has become slightly more influenced by the other metropolitan areas of Northern California, particularly the Bay Area.

Fresno is the largest city in the area and in the Central Valley. Along with Sacramento, it is the economic center of California's interior and is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, with the region having a growth of over 20% since 2000. Fresno is a major transportation hub for visitors heading to Yosemite, Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Parks, which are 60 mi (97 km) and 75 mi (121 km) away from Fresno respectively with Fresno the nearest major city from the parks. The United States Military has a heavy presence in the Fresno area and numerous divisions are based in Metropolitan Fresno, including the 40th Aviation Brigade and 144th Fighter Wing. Fresno County is the largest agricultural county and has the largest concentration of agriculture than any other county in the United States. Madera County is primarily an agricultural county as well but its cities serve as suburbs of Fresno.

Metropolitan Fresno is primarily located in the San Joaquin Valley, which in turn is a part of the larger Central Valley region of California, one of the world's most important agricultural areas. The eastern portions of the area border the Sierra Nevada mountains and the western portions border the Coast Ranges, thus giving the edges of the area higher elevations than the inner valley areas. Several waterways traverse the region, including the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers, Delta–Mendota Canal and Madera Canal. Additionally, the California Aqueduct runs through the area, providing water to crops and is one of the world's longest artificial aqueducts.

Metropolitan Fresno has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with some semi-arid factors due to its interior location (Köppen Bsh), with mild, moderately wet winters and hot and dry summers. December is the coolest month, with an average of 53.4 °F (11.9 °C) during the day in downtown Fresno while summer temperatures can reach 110 °F (43.3 °C) or more. Thick tule fog is present in the valley areas during the winter. Rainfall is most common between December and April while snowfall is sometimes experienced in the higher mountain elevations.

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