BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — STORM UPDATE 10:15 A.M.: Both directions of I-5 are currently CLOSED near State Route 166 due to downed power lines with live wires in the road. No estimated time to reopen. Southbound traffic is being detoured onto State Route 166 to Southbound State Route 99. Northbound traffic is being diverted onto northbound Hwy 99.
PREVIOUS: A very strong and wet storm system is pushing down into Kern County this morning.
The rain will begin with increasing winds during the morning commute, with the most intensity mid-morning through your lunch hour, and then turning to scattered showers with isolated thunderstorms possible this afternoon through this evening.
With this heavy rain below 8,000 feet, most of Kern County will be accumulating to half an inch to an inch of rain, with our higher elevations seeing an inch to two inches! The Sierra to our north will see blizzard conditions above 8,000 feet accumulating two to four feet of snow. In our drought-ridden soil, that's too much rain, so all mountain slopes have the threat of mudslides, with rockslides likely in the Hwy 178 canyon and debris flows possible in areas of recent wildfires, especially the French Fire burn scar around Alta Sierra.
Keep in mind that after a long, hot and dry Summer, there is a lot of motor oil accumulated on our roads along with wet fallen leaves, leading to slick road conditions. Fallen leaves will also block gutters, leading to even more ponding possible on the roads. So drivers need to keep their lights on and their speed down to try and avoid hydroplaning and spin outs. If you are in an area of heavy rain that makes it hard to see the road, pull over off the road as far as you can get, leave your lights on, and wait it out.
We're cooler today with this rain, with a drop to the mid-50s in the valley this afternoon, the low 50s in the Kern River Valley, and the mid-40s in Tehachapi and Frazier Park. We'll be colder tonight, but not cold enough for accumulating snow as lingering showers slowly taper off.
We're then clearing staying cool tomorrow with more sunshine and a high of 60 in Bakersfield for your Tuesday afternoon before a drier and warmer pattern sets up Wednesday through the rest of the week.
This weekend looks very nice for Halloween, with mild 70s and passing clouds. For now the forecast is dry for our trick-or-treaters, though the long range forecasts are hinting at a storm possible over Northern California on Sunday that we will watch closely.
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