Today's KernCast23

Increasing threat of thunderstorms today

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - We topped out at 107 Wednesday in Bakersfield, not a record but still almost 10 degrees above average and our hottest day so far this year. As for temperatures, expect a humid 102 in Bakersfield, 99 in Lake Isabella, 86 in Tehachapi, 82 in Frazier Park and the 90s in the desert.

With monsoonal moisture pushing into the county, I'll say there's a 50% chance of thunderstorms in the desert and 40% in the mountains this afternoon. Most of the rain will be evaporating as it falls this morning, but as the afternoon goes on, we'll have an increased chance of thunderstorms.

As a result of these storms, a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the Kern County mountain and desert cities. In places where thunderstorms stall we could see gusty winds, heavy localized rain and possibly small hail. The biggest scare is the chance of dry lightning, with the threat of sparking a new wildfire in our local mountains. We're also closely watching the burn scars of wildfires from years past, because the earth there is so damaged that a heavy amount of rain could cause mudslides or debris flows.

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We'll see the same storm chances tomorrow, and a little less of a chance on Saturday though it remains humid. We'll see some relief starting on Sunday, as the wind flow turns from the southwest yet again, bringing dry air onshore. It doesn't look like remarkably cool ocean air, but it will be dry and fresh, which will help us feel more like our typical dry California weather and it should clear up our air quality a bit too (which reamains unhealthy for sensitive groups).

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