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Sunny, seasonal 70s return

Valley air quality remains moderate
Kern County Drought Status as of 10/28/2021
Valley 10-day forecast 10/28/2021
Mountains 7-day forecasts 10/28/2021
Posted at 4:46 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 09:20:44-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — High pressure is now in control, which keeps us sunny and stable today with a warm up to seasonal conditions. Enjoy a high of 76 in Bakersfield today with mid-70s for the rest of the valley too and moderate air quality. The Kern River Valley and Kern Desert are a bit warmer, with a climb to the low 80s today while the south mountains of course are a bit cooler, with highs in the sunny low 70s this afternoon.

Tomorrow is a few degrees warmer, as that high pressure slowly moves into the Great Basin.

A system passing over Northern California on Saturday will push that ridge out, bringing some cooler air onshore and taking us just below average to the breezy low 70s again. We'll have passing clouds but no rain this far south, which is good news for your Halloween weekend plans!

Skies will be clearing with cooler conditions on Sunday, meaning highs in the upper 60s here in the valley Halloween afternoon and dry low 60s for your trick-or-treaters that evening. The Kern River alley and Kern Desert are much of the same, while the south mountains of Tehachapi and Frazier Park will be in the low 60s Halloween afternoon with a quick drop to the low 50s that evening.

One more note for you this morning, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report does not show an improvement in drought status here in Kern County, even after Monday's impressive rain event. The report is released every Thursday, and this morning's report says "Two inches to over 10 inches of precipitation fell across the West from the coast to the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges, over 2 inches was widespread across central Idaho and in parts of Nevada and Utah, with over half an inch over the rest of the Pacific Northwest into southern California, most of Nevada, and western and northern sections of Utah. Less than half an inch to no precipitation fell over the deserts of southern California and southern Nevada, over southeast Utah, and most of Arizona. New Mexico and parts of Montana were dry this week. A volunteer observer west of Reno, Nevada, recorded 6.83 inches of precipitation from the storm, while South Lake Tahoe measured 7.07 inches for the USDM week. Some all-time daily precipitation records were broken October 24 in northern California. These include 5.44 inches at Sacramento City (breaks the previous record of 5.28 inches from April 20, 1880), 5.41 inches at Sacramento Exec Airport (previous record was 3.77 inches on October 13, 1962), and 10.40 inches at Blue Canyon (exceeded the previous record of 9.33 inches from December 22, 1964). The heavy rains which fell over a short period of time resulted in transient rises on local creeks, ponding of water, mud and rock slides, and some debris flows over recent burn areas. So much rain falling so quickly likely mostly ran off and had little chance to soak into the soil. But the rain wetted the soils prior to the building of the winter snowpack which will help in the future. While beneficial, the precipitation improved hydrological conditions only marginally. In the Sacramento area, there were limited inflows into the major flood control and water storage reservoirs, which remain well below normal storages. The water level at Lake Tahoe rose only about 7 inches. In southern California, Big Bear Lake was two feet away from the record level of 18 feet below, and avocado production was reduced roughly 22% in the southern California growing belt. Topsoil moisture improved considerably from the rains this week, according to USDA statistics. California went from 75% of the topsoil moisture short or very short last week to 40% this week, Oregon improved 16% to 53% short or very short this week, Washington improved 9% to 78%, and Idaho improved 17% to 45%. But Montana still had 96% of the topsoil moisture short or very short. The rain was not enough to replenish significantly low reservoirs. From October 21 to 26, reservoirs rose very little. Some examples for larger reservoirs: in Idaho, American Falls reservoir went from 15% full to 17% full, while Palisades stayed at 6% full; in California, Shasta rose from 21% of total capacity to 22%, Lake Oroville from 22% to 27%, Trinity Lake from 26% to 27%, and Folsom rose from 22% to 31%; in Oregon, Wickiup went from 4% full to 7%, while Owyhee stayed at 11%; and in Washington, Cle Elum went from 21% full to 22%. D3 and D4 (exceptional drought) were pulled back in northern California, northwest Nevada, and parts of Idaho where the heaviest rains fell; D0, D3, and D4 contracted in Washington; and D3 and D4 contracted in Montana. The contraction of D3-D4 in eastern Montana reflected cumulative effects of above-normal precipitation over the last 2 to 4 weeks. However, D4 expanded along the east slopes in western Montana and D3 expanded in north central Montana to reflect intensifying dry conditions over the last 2 months."

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