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Excessive Heat and bad air quality dominate today's forecast

We're very hot and hazy for another day
Valley 10-day forecast 8/16/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 8/16/2021
Posted at 5:16 AM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 09:16:36-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A stubborn ridge of high pressure remains anchored overhead, sending us into the hottest temperatures we've had so far this month... it's not the hottest of the Summer, but it'll be scorching as the valley and desert cities have Excessive Heat Warnings in effect due to afternoon highs of 105 to 112 degrees!

Bakersfield is facing a forecast high of 107 this afternoon, close to our daily record high of 109 set back in 1920. Ridgecrest is the hot spot with a forecast of 112 degrees. Even the mountains can't escape the heat, with a mostly sunny and slightly humid forecast in the 100s for the Kern River Valley as they see showers and the chance for pop up thunderstorms along the Sierra Crest to their north. And of course that leads to more hot mid-90s in the south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park today too.

The bad air quality continues as well, with plenty of trapped smog and wildfire smoke countywide. So the valley air quality forecast remains unhealthy for sensitive groups for another day.

But we'll see a trough of low pressure tracking over the Pacific Northwest tomorrow, pushing this ridge of high pressure out of the way and picking up an onshore flow. Those westerly winds will work to cool us down several degrees tomorrow and push out a lot of this trapped smog and smoke. So as air quality improves, so do temperatures, with a fall to 100 degrees in Bakersfield tomorrow and then a drop below average (which is 97 for this time of year) to a forecast high of 93 degrees on Wednesday, just in time for the first day of school!

In fact, that southwesterly flow looks to continue for the rest of the work week into this weekend, keeping us just below average through Sunday. So it will be sunny and seasonally hot, but we look to get a long break from the 100s at last, which have been mostly in control since Memorial Day. In fact, we've now had 56 days of 100s this season, getting close to doubling our seasonal average of 36 days.

As for those 100s, the long range forecast brings them back in with a building ridge of high pressure next Tuesday.

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