Hot, dry summer expected before La Nina returns

Posted at 11:10 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 08:52:45-04

The time has come... we typically have our first 100 degree day in the month of May. And now that El Nino season has ended, we're looking ahead to see what kind of summer we can expect.

Unfortunately the weather pattern looks to bring us a hotter and drier summer than last year, with possible record breaking heat.

"I can say right now that there is a pretty high confidence that we're going to see above average temperatures this summer coming up," said Meteorologist Brian Ochs with the National Weather Service in Hanford.

So what does that mean as we take a look ahead to your summer vacation plans? Well you should still hit the road with your family, but if you're headed to the mountains, be prepared for possible delays and closures due to a nasty fire season.

"They're expecting by July more increased fire activity, as we get into the hotter part of the summer," Ochs said. "So not only do we have this occurring, but we have more fuels, just because we've had such a long period of drought and below average precipitation."

We average 38 days of 100 degrees or higher every summer here in Bakersfield, so how do you beat the heat? Well the official tips to keep you cool are pretty simple:

1. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing to help reflect the sun's rays
2. Stay hydrated by drinking good old plain water, because alcohol and sugary drinks actually enhance dehydration.
3. Do you outdoor activities early in the morning when its the coolest and avoid being outdoors during the heat of the day, which is typically from lunch time through dinner.

Looking beyond the heat this summer... it's shaping up to be a La Nina season, which typically means a mild Fall and Winter with below average rainfall. And so the drought continues.