BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Isolated showers continue to move over Northern California today, but this far south we just enjoy the passing clouds with dry weather and a nice onshore flow. That leaves us with moderate valley air quality and seasonal upper 70s. The Kern River Valley and most desert cities also enjoy those upper 70s with the low 70s in the south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park.
Most of tomorrow is beautiful in those partly cloudy 70s too, but a cold front will sweep over the state tomorrow night, bringing a chance of showers to much of Kern County tomorrow evening through early Saturday. That will bring increasing winds and some showers to Kern County after 3 p.m.Friday with chances of light rain continuing through early Saturday morning. We'll then be cooler as we head into Saturday, with clearing skies and highs in the 60s that afternoon, but a dry forecast for most of the weekend for whatever you have planned.
But be on your guard as a powerful storm is brewing in the Pacific this weekend, tapping into a strong feed of tropical moisture called an Atmospheric River, which means relatively warm and wet weather for Central California later Sunday through early Tuesday. Historically, these storms bring flooding rains to the valley, especially this time of year as falling leaves clog gutters and drainage systems. Also keep in mind the roads will be oily after a long hot summer, and therefore very slippery for your Monday commute. In areas where thunderstorms develop, we'll also see the threat of small hail and dangerous cloud to ground lightning.
There will be several feet of snow for the highest elevations of the Sierra above 9,000 feet, but here at home it looks like heavy rain, which will lead to the threat of rockslides in the canyon, mudslides on any steep mountain slopes, and debris flows in the burn scar areas of recent wildfires. Stay tuned to the forecast early next week, and stay safe.