Hotter weather is ahead as high pressure builds overhead

Air quality is moderate but with more smoke coming
Valley 10-day forecast 9/21/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 9/21/2021
Posted at 5:12 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 11:14:44-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's the last day of Summer on the calendar and it feels like it, with a forecast high of 98 in Bakersfield today and trapped wildfire smoke.

Major wildfires burning in the Sequoia National Forest are sending that smoke down into all of Kern County, where it remains "stuck" for another day as we head into a sunny and stagnant afternoon. So as high pressure building over Arizona brings, expect more haze on the horizon as temperatures jump more than 10 degrees from yesterday.

That means highs in the upper 90s in the valley today, the mid-90s in the Kern Desert and Kern River Valley, and mid-80s in the south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park. If Bakersfield happens to hit that 100 mark today, that would be the 67th day of 100s so far this year, tying for second place in our count of the most 100s ever.

Valley air quality is still in the moderate range, but you'll notice more of that wildfire smoke filling in so take it easy outside. Meanwhile, easterly winds continue today, which keep us dangerously dry and hot this afternoon. So even though we don't quite meet the criteria for a Red Flag Warning in our local mountains today, you still want to be very fire aware.

The futurecast shows a cut off low dropping down from the Pacific Northwest later this week and churning over Southern California and Arizona through the weekend. I'll call for a slight chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms here in Kern County as early as Thursday, with a better chance to see the action Saturday into Sunday. A lot has to come together with this forecast to bring us a good chance of rain, and we are concerned about any lightning strikes in our local mountains sparking new wildfires.

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