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Smoky conditions continue for another day

Temperatures stay down due to thick smoke
Valley 10-day forecast 8/20/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 8/20/2021
Posted at 5:15 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 09:04:50-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Wildfire smoke remains trapped in Kern County today with an Air Quality Alert in effect. It may be confusing that the Valley Air District's forecast is to have moderate air quality in the south valley today, but the Real Time Air Quality readings are showing it is unhealthy for everyone and you should avoid any strenuous outdoor activities today and limit your exposure to this particulate pollution.

That's unfortunate because temperatures are a rare treat for Kern County this time of year, with a forecast of 90 in Bakersfield today after two days in the upper 80s. You may see your phone forecast giving you a high of 95 in Bakersfield today, but I think that dense smoke is going to block some of the sun's heating so I'm keeping our forecast down as a result. The Kern River Valley is about the same with low to mid-90s in the Kern River Valley. The south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park will be in the low 80s today.

The next approaching trough of low pressure passing over the Pacific Northwest tonight into tomorrow could provide some relief as we see an increasing southwesterly flow over Kern County, but for now I'm not seeing strong enough winds to blow all this smoke out, so expect it to likely stay hazy all weekend. That approaching ocean air should keep temperatures down below average though, so the valley looks to stay in the low 90s through Sunday.

Early next week high pressure will build overhead and bring a warming trend back to those seasonal mid-90s on Monday into Tuesday and upper 90s, if not the 100s, by Wednesday. The long range forecast keeps us in those 100s through the end of next week into next weekend, so as long as the state's fires continue to burn, our air quality will be a concern as there are no fresh winds coming next week to push out all that trapped smoke.

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