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After a mild weekend we're heading into a wild week

Air quality climbs in the moderate range
Valley 10-day forecast 9/20/2021
Posted at 5:08 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 12:55:51-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As promised, this weekend brought the best temperatures we've seen in more than three months!

Yesterday was the nicest with a Bakersfield high of 82, down below our average of 90 for this time of year, as a cold front brought beautiful cumulus clouds and a big cool down to Kern County. But while the valley enjoyed better air quality, those gusty winds and the dry conditions were concerning for our local mountains as we continue trudging through this record-breaking wildfire season.

However we're warming back up closer to those seasonal averages today with a forecast high of 88 degrees in Bakersfield and increasing easterly winds from the desert later this afternoon into the overnight hours. In fact, this morning PG&E is warning hundreds of rural Kern County residents they could lose power about 10 p.m. tonight as crews try to avoid live powerlines blowing in the wind and potentially causing sparks.

For us in the valley, the air quality will get much worse overnight into tomorrow as those easterly winds push mountain wildfire smoke down into our bowl where it will get stuck through Wednesday. Temperatures will also get worse, with a surge back to the hazy upper 90s here in the valley tomorrow into Wednesday.

Then we turn our attention to a trough of low pressure pushing toward the Pacific Northwest for the rest of the work week. You'll notice the cooler, cleaner air rushing in Thursday as we watch that closed low develop over Nevada and then potentially retrograde right toward Kern County by Friday. That means a drop to the low 90s to end the week with westerly winds helping our air quality. Futurecasts then show that system sitting parked over our area into the weekend, with more seasonal 80s in the valley and a chance of showers in our mountains and the Sierra Nevada to our north Saturday and Sunday! While we will take any rain we can get, we will watch closely for the chance of thunderstorms this weekend as the last thing we need is more lightning.

As the system finally lifts out next Monday, we'll see a return to sunny, warmer weather once again.

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