BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A cold front is bringing rain north of the county line today, so while Delano could see some sprinkles, the rain looks to skip everyone else. So expect sunny and mild conditions countywide today, with valley highs in the mid-70s under mostly sunny skies with a bit of a breeze and good air quality! The Kern River Valley and Kern Desert are the same, with the upper 60s in the south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park.
We're warmer tomorrow, with a jump above average to the low 80s, but a cold front will sweep over Northern California Friday afternoon into the overnight hours to bring us increasing winds and cooler weather with passing clouds but only a slight chance of rain this far south overnight. As a result, we're clearing but much cooler Saturday, with mostly sunny 60s in the valley yet again.
We're then turning all our attention to a strong Pacific storm that looks to tap into a strong feed of tropical moisture called an Atmospheric River. Historically these storms are very warm and very wet, which can lead to flooding rains for most locations with heavy snow at the highest elevations. So expect the 70s on Sunday with increasing winds that afternoon into the overnight hours.
Wherever this strong feed of moisture comes onshore, soaking rain could lead to flooding in the valley, especially as falling fall leaves block the gutters. In years of drought, our soil is "hydrophobic", meaning its too parched to absorb much moisture and could instead lead to the threat of mudslides and rockslides, especially along steep slopes and in areas of recent wildfires where the soil is damaged and loose.
This storm will carry into Monday, so if you have weekend plans, try to get back earlier in the afternoon on Sunday and be prepared for a messy Monday morning commute. Our friends at the National Weather Service say "The bottom line is that this storm system could potentially be the strongest storm system to impact Central California in the past two years." So we'll be watching it closely, because if it stays too far to our north we'll miss the worst of it, but if it takes aim at Kern County, we could be seeing some big issues.