Air quality gets worse as fires continue to burn

Air Quality Alert in effect due to smoke
Valley 10-day forecast 8/25/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 8/25/2021
Posted at 5:03 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 11:30:31-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — This looks to be our last day with a low pressure trough digging into southern California, which means we'll soon lose this southwesterly flow which has been mixing out some of the wildfire smoke. I know that's hard to believe because it has been so hazy for weeks now, but without this onshore flow it would be worse. In fact, we are seeing the air quality getting worse, with a forecast of 150 on the index today, which is one point away from being unhealthy for everyone. So the air quality alert due to smoke continues as long as the major fires burn in the state. The air quality is much worse up in the Kern River Valley where smoke from the French Fire continues to fill in over Lake Isabella.

So temperatures are about on track for average today, with mid-90s in the valley and Kern River Valley, and upper 90s with some 100s down in the Kern Desert. The south mountains are warm and hazy too, with highs in the mid-80s in Tehachapi and Frazier Park.

As high pressure builds over the region tomorrow, it's in control by Friday, with a jump to the upper 90s that afternoon and the 100s are back this weekend. For now excessive heat with highs higher than 105 aren't expected, but it will be hot and hazy through next week as more and more smog and smoke get trapped in Kern County.

Some forecast models are calling for a slight chance of monsoonal moisture pushing toward our mountain and desert communities Tuesday, but we'll wait and see how that develops before we start talking about any real chances of showers or threat of thunderstorms.

In the long range forecast, we're looking ahead to another low pressure trough digging down along the west coast by next Wednesday, with an onshore flow bringing a return to the low 90s that day and more seasonal mid-90s by next Thursday with the winds working to improve this stagnant smoke and haze. Until then, especially now through the weekend, stay indoors as much as possible in the filtered air conditioning and protect your lungs.