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Strong winter storm on the way

Rain and snow move in late Monday into Tuesday
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Posted at 8:58 AM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 12:28:40-05

Our next storm is so close we can see it!

Well, at least on radar.

Steady rain is falling across Central California, as well as heavy snow along the Sierra Nevada.

Snow totals in the Sierra Nevada north of Kern County will reach as high as 8 feet!

Rain and snow will be in Kern County soon enough, but first, we'll deal with some strong winds.

A Wind Advisory is in effect for the west side hills and much of the Valley Monday, where gusts could reach 40 miles per hour.

The south mountains are under a High Wind Warning, and gusts in that area may hit 60 miles per hour!

These strong winds will also contribute to our rain shadow effect, keeping rain totals in the Valley lower than our mountain communities.

A few showers are possible Monday, but rain chances will improve Monday night.

Steady rain will be falling in the south mountains from around midnight until sunrise.

The Valley may see some rain overnight, but most of the rain will fall as a heavy band arrives.

This band will last a few hours, and will arrive in Bakersfield sometime between 6 AM and 9 AM Tuesday.

Additional strong showers or thunderstorms may develop into the afternoon.

Rain totals look to be lightest in western Kern, where the rain shadow is the strongest, with totals ranging from 0.25" to 0.5".

Totals of 0.5" to 1.0" are most likely in and around Bakersfield, with higher amounts in our mountains and foothills.

There may be enough rain for minor local flooding, as well as rock slides through the Kern Canyon.

Snow is the other big impact with this storm.

Snow levels will start out high, around 7,000 feet, but drop sharply as cold air arrives, sometime in the late morning to early afternoon Tuesday.

Some of Kern County's highest peaks will receive heavy snow, with totals of 1 to 3 feet possible for places like Alta Sierra where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect!

Snow levels will end up around 2,500 feet, which means snow is possible for places like Lake Isabella.

It also means a few inches of accumulating snow is possible at pass level.

The big question regarding the snowfall will be whether or not snow can stick on the roadways at pass level.

If it does, we may see major delays in time for the Tuesday evening commute, especially on the Grapevine and Highway 58 through Tehachapi.

There's a lot going on with this storm, so stay tuned for updates and check the weather and road conditions before you head out on Tuesday!