BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Well, it's official. Yesterday's high of 101 degrees for the last day of Summer was our 67th day of 100s this season. Bakersfield is now tied in 2nd place for the most 100s ever recorded (first set in 1939 and then tied in 2017 and now 2021). And we could see more, as our latest triple digit day on record is Oct. 17th. So even though today is the Autunmal Equinox and therefore the first day of Fall, it won't really feel like Fall around here until Halloween, which is still 39 days away.
So expect a hazy high of 98 in Bakersfield this afternoon with an air quality alert in effect due to wildfire smoke. Lake Isabella is climbing to a high of 94 today with 86 in Tehachapi and 85 in Frazier Park. But hey, Bakersfield lore says "it's always hot for the fair", and that's true for the Kern County Fair to open its gates today for the first time in two years! So yes it's hot, but it's tradition.
These stagnant conditions are due to a strong ridge of high pressure that was in control over the state yesterday, and is now on its way to Arizona. Later today we'll be turning our attention to an upper level trough that approaches from the northwest, bringing a few degrees of "cooling" today though it's still going to be hot and above average with that high of 98. The winds will work harder tomorrow morning to drop us down a bit closer to average with a forecast high of 92 in the afternoon with better air quality. Unfortunately we have to watch how these winds will fan the flames, and we could see the wildfire smoke filling right back into the valley tomorrow night as the winds die down and the trough moves east.
So temperatures rebound Friday into Saturday and that means you can expect hazy 90s in the forecast through the end of the week.
We are still tracking the futurecast that is trying to drop a close low into the Desert Southwest, leaving it sitting and spinning near Arizona through the weekend. For now it's looking to track over Southern California, just bring Kern County a very slight 10% chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms Friday through Sunday. Each model run has been different, so if the storm is too far east or digs too far south, then we only benefit from seasonal temperatures and won't see any precipitation.
In the longer look ahead, we could see a more significant trough dig into the area early next week with a chance for low 80s by Wednesday, but for now it doesn't look like that system is a big rainmaker.