Expect some impressive changes in our weather today... After several days of very warm and dry conditions, we have a subtropical disturbance moving onshore which will bring increasing cloud cover and westerly winds. This is a warm storm, so don't expect fast winds or a significant cool down, but it's bringing more moisture. As that system runs into our dry air I think most of the rain will evaporate, but we'll also see unstable conditions so there could be some thunderstorms developing across Kern County this afternoon into this evening. With evaporating rain that leaves us with the threat of dry lightning which is a serious wildfire threat for our local foothills and mountains. In areas where stronger thunderstorms develop expect heavy localized rain, gusty winds, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning and small hail.
Though not a significant cool down, we will drop several degrees, with highs in the mid-80s today instead of upper 80s here on the valley floor. Still above average, but better than flirting with those 90s! That warm air and increasing humidity as the rain evaporates will feel a bit uncomfortable however. The Kern River Valley will also be in the mid-80s, with the mid-70s in the southern mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park.
This disturbance kicks out of the way tomorrow, with increasing northwesterly winds Wednesday into Thursday. An impressive cold front sweeps over the state on Friday, bringing dramatically cooler air that day! It doesn't look like significant rain will get this far south, but expect highs only in the upper 60s on Friday here in Bakersfield. That will feel like Fall! We haven't seen highs like that since the Spring. In fact, it was mid-May, more than 150 days ago, that we saw such nice weather. It will obviously be even cooler in the mountains, with just mid-50s in Tehachapi and Frazier Park that day.
We're all sunny and steadily warmer this weekend as high pressure builds. That means we'll have gorgeous 70s in the valley and 60s in the mountains. We're all warming up next week with a return to the 80s here in the valley. It looks like we're staying away from the 90s though and we're definitely done with the 100s for the year. That means 2017 will go down in the record books as a tie for the second warmest summer on record in Bakersfield, with 66 days of 100s in a single calendar year. Ouch!