The astronomical end of summer is almost here. That happens later this week at the Autumnal Equinox (8:09 PM on Wednesday evening). “Equinox” is latin for “Equal Nights”. Coincidentally, the Harvest Moon will be full that night AND it is the official start of the Great Kern County Fair. The seasons.. they are a-changin’.
Our weather fortunes have been swinging dramatically of late. This past week was a remarkable one with the most impressive 4-day temperature tumble I’ve ever seen in the summer. Afternoon highs in Bakersfield went from 111 degrees on Wednesday (a record and the latest hottest day of the year this millennium) to only 80 on Sunday, 31 degrees cooler in only 4 days.
We all know what a category 5 hurricane is, or the damage that can be done by an EF-1 tornado. But why hasn’t anyone thought about coming up with a standard Wildfire Scale? Well, after last week’s major fires that developed in a flash and stalked portions of Kern County- that is exactly what I propose.
After a cool and wet spring, the first 100 degree temperatures have arrived in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley.
One of the inherent risks of medium range forecasting is its uncertainty. And so it is with our first potential heat wave of the season.
With our latest rain event that brought .10” to Bakersfield, we have now received over 7 inches of rain for the water year. Only 27 out of the past 122 years have been wetter.
Well, we did it. Last week our 2009-10 water year rainfall in Bakersfield spilled over the normal mark for the first time since 2005-06.
The El Nino southern Oscillation is still occurring in the equatorial Pacific. But its days are numbered- like the certainty California’s rainy season will eventually end.
Just like the fabled January Thaw comes in the middle of winter and brings some warm relief, so too a March Break has come in the otherwise wet winter California has been experiencing.
The world record high temperature was recorded at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922 when an official weather observation registered 136 degrees Fahrenheit. Not far behind is the highest reading in the US (and western hemisphere) of 134 degrees at Greenland Ranch- Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913. But who would have guessed that the third hottest temperature of all time was near Santa Barbara, California?
It is the beginning of a new month- March. However, for most of recorded history this would have been the beginning of a new year.
The hills are alive with greenery and foliage bursting out like it was spring. Of course, the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring) is still nearly a month away.
Kern county and all of California have been on a “Spring Break” of sorts from the wet winter lately. But the wet part of our year is still in its ascendancy.
Following a wet weekend in which many areas picked up substantial amounts of rainfall, Monday will be a short break in the action. But Tuesday should snap back to our wet weather ways.