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Southwest flow aloft keeps temperatures down

Air Quality Alert continues due to wildfire smoke
Valley 10-day forecast 8/23/21
Posted at 6:02 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 13:13:15-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's warm but still below average with low 90s in the valley and Kern River Valley today through Wednesday as ocean air comes onshore thanks to a passing trough.

While there's no cloud cover or precipitation this far south, wind gusts to about 35 mph will be likely today through the mountain passes and down into the desert, fanning the flames of the French Fire. Winds aloft continue from the south to southwest, pushing smoke from the French Fire up over the Kern River Valley, bringing more bad air quality for the next several days. Here in the valley we continue to see poor air quality as well, as major wildfires burning to the north like the Dixie, Monument, McFarland and Caldor Fires continue to fill the valley with smoke. So the air quality alert continues due to wildfire smoke and trapped smog even in these breezy conditions.

However this dry, cool southwesterly onshore flow does keep afternoon highs well below average with low 90s not only today but lasting through Wednesday before we start climbing back to seasonal norms in the upper 90s by Thursday. That's because the long range forecast builds high pressure to our east and out over the Pacific as well, with sunny, stagnant and hotter conditions building back in the hundreds this weekend. So dry, hazy conditions are expected through at least early next week.

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