The heavens opened up Friday morning with a very nice beneficial rainfall in the Bakersfield area. Rain also led to a number of accidents on Bakersfield roadways. Generally, a quarter to nearly half inch of rain doused the south valley on Friday morning as a low pressure system pivoted over Kern County. The rain mostly came to an end by late morning, with some drizzle persisting in the foothills and mountain areas.
The airport recorded .30" of rain, shattering the old daily record of .04". This record rainfall has boosted the Bakersfield May rainfall total to .56", 311% of normal for the month. Our water year talley improved to 5.18" or 81% of normal. Heaviest rainfall reports came from Woody with .72", Lamont at .42" and .41" from southwest Bakersfield. Mountain areas received less rain than the south valley. Tehachapi got .23" and Lake Isabella only .02".
The rain is over for now, but clouds will hold on overnight on the east and south side of the valley. The specific low pressure circulation that brought our rain has now departed Kern County, but a general broad low pressure system is still locked in over the western US. A few waves in northwesterly flow will bring a slight chance for afternoon showers in the mountains this weekend. Clouds in the valley Saturday morning should gradually clear out to a fairly nice afternoon. Temperatures on Friday peaked in the upper 60s to low 70s- near record cool afternoon levels. Saturday should improve to the mid 70s.
By Sunday and Memorial Day we are back into the 80s. Monday's predicted high is 85°, only one degree below the normal high temperature for that day. But computer models are strongly suggesting that a significant warming trend is right around the corner. For the first time in almost 3 weeks, afternoon readings will trend to above normal levels by the end of next week. It now appears south valley residents will see 90-degree heat by next Thursday, with mid 90s by next Friday and hot weather over the last weekend in May. June should start hot in the mid 90s with even hotter weather foreseen into the first week of June. It is too early to be certain, but triple digit weather may be lurking for Bakersfield during that first week.
5-22-2015 6:26 pm Chief Meteorologist MILES MUZIO