BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The stubborn ridge of high pressure that has kept us so hot the past several days is finally getting pushed further east, as a trough digs in along the west coast. That will bring increasing northwesterly winds and a slow but steady "cool down" today into tomorrow. So we are closely watching the French Fire, as periods of locally gusty winds today into tomorrow will fan the flames, but for now it looks like those gusts remain below 45 miles per hour, which is why you don't see a Wind Advisory in the forecast. There will be some more moisture available than we had over the weekend, but it's still very dry with critically dry vegetation on our drought, so fire weather conditions are concerning through Wednesday evening.
That "cool down" means that after three days in the 100s, today's forecast is 98 in Bakersfield, better of course, but still above our seasonal average of 95. The Kern Desert will continue to see 100s today while we're looking for a high of 97 in Lake Isabella, 88 in Tehachapi and 86 in Frazier Park.
You'll also notice the breezy conditions helping to clear the smoke and improve air quality slowly by tomorrow, but until then, air quality in the valley today is at 150 on the index, one point away from being unhealthy for sensitive groups. So stay inside for one more day and protect your lungs.
Unfortunately there's no rain this far south out of that digging trough that's bringing the winds, but we are closely watching subtropical moisture pushing from Mexico into Arizona. That is what's left of Hurricane Nora, and some of the cloud cover looks to get dragged into Kern County today, though we only have a 10% chance of showers (because it's been so hot and so dry the past several days, we'll have high evaporation rates). However that does mean there will be a little more moisture in the air, so that's why we don't have a Red Flag Warning (also called a Fire Weather Warning) here in Kern County like they're seeing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California today and tomorrow.
Both air quality and temperatures are expected to be much better by tomorrow, with a drop to 94 in the forecast here in Bakersfield and then a blow average 92 by Thursday.
By Friday into the weekend, we're looking for a slow warm up with near-average afternoon highs in the low-to-mid-90s, with no promising chance of rain through early next week.