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Monsoon returns with chance of showers and thunderstorms

Air quality remains unhealthy for sensitive groups
Valley 10-day forecast 9/9/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 9/9/2021
Posted at 4:42 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 11:34:02-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The high pressure that's brought several days of 100s to Kern County has now anchored itself over the Four Corners region, and will work today to wrap some subtropical moisture from the Baja Peninsula and southern Arizona into Kern County. That brings a 30% chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms to the Kern Desert and mountain communities, but only a 10% chance that action will spill over into the valley today.

So as widespread 100s continue today with hazy conditions, we'll also notice more of a humid feeling too. The heat continuing in the San Joaquin Valley, Kern River Valley and Kern Desert this afternoon brings highs in the 100-105 degree range today. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are possible in the mid-day hours through this evening. Unfortunately because we are still so hot and we have such a dry airmass in place, evaporating rain is expected today, so we have a chance of dry lightning strikes and the threat of new wildfires in California's mountains. A dry thunderstorm means it will not produce much rain to put potential wildfires out. So if you see any new columns of smoke, let the fire department know right away.

With a closer look at Bakersfield, I am expecting a high of 104 in the city today with air quality that remains unhealthy for sensitive groups. You may see a higher forecast on your phone, but I think we're going to be down a few degrees from what the computer models are predicting because of the increasing cloud cover thanks to that push of monsoonal moisture today. No matter what number we hit, this ninth heatwave of the season is expected to continue with today being our 66th day of triple digits in Bakersfield so far this year.

Looking ahead, a Pacific trough of low pressure will approach the Pacific Northwest tonight, looking to bring several degrees of cooling by tomorrow, though we expect to stay dry and higher than average in the mid to upper 90s for most of Kern County. A few dry thunderstorms will be possible again tomorrow afternoon, but most of the action is expected today.

Another ridge of high pressure will extend westward across Southern California tomorrow night through Saturday night, but that looks to create a westerly flow over Kern County, which means a downward temperature trend is expected Friday and Saturday.

Yet another Pacific trough looks to pass over Northern California Sunday, bringing an onshore flow that should take us back down to the mid-90s and help mix out more of our haze, but there's no promising chance of rain in next week's forecast nor a return to seasonal low 90s.

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