Heat Wave #3 Strengthens
As skies completely cleared out, it has gotten particularly hot. Humidity levels were up a bit today and moderate heat stress was the result. Highs rose to around 106° in the south valley on Thursday. Tomorrow should be just a bit warmer. Additionally, some smoke from the El Portal Fire and the French Fire is beginning to bring a hazy pale into the Bakersfield area. Those two fires have consumed nearly 11,000 acres and remain quite aggressive. Air quality will be impacted in areas generally north of Kern County through Saturday. I believe the winds will shift late on Sunday providing better air conditions for Kern County.
Meantime, temperatures will peak from 105 to 108° on Friday and Saturday in the south valley under mostly sunny skies. Air quality will be poor- unhealthy for sensitive groups. Computer models have indicated a surge of monsoonal moisture coming up from the southeast on Sunday afternoon. It may lead to thunderstorms late Sunday and persisting into early Monday for locations primarily east of Kern. But a disturbance in westerly flow will interact with the tropical moisture to cause heavy thunderstorms over the desert regions east of Kern County. This, in turn, will draw in a marine intrusion for Monday.
Temperatures are forecast to peak around 100° on Monday, but we could conceivably break the heat wave that day with highs only in the mid 90s if the marine air is stronger than predicted. We will see. Even if it moderates sufficiently to break the heat wave, temperatures warm up again by the middle of next week. However, there is a significant change beginning to develop for the second week of August. Computer models are now coming into a consensus that a trough of low pressure will form along the west coast shortly after the 10-day forecast period. That should lead to cooler conditions and finally an end to Heat Wave #3. But it is still a ways out there. Hot weather with poor air quality and relatively high humidity is still on the menu for the next week.
6:26 pm 7-31-14 Chief Meteorologist MILES MUZIO