Winds from the northwest combined with the remnants of a cold front Sunday, giving Bakersfield clean air and sparkling views on a brisk mid-winter day.
Hardly any rain fell in the city despite what looked all day like gathering storm clouds. The Kern County mountains got a dash of snow and residents there braced for the possibility of more Sunday night.
"You could squeeze out a few (snow) showers but it won't be anything heavy," National Weather Service meteorologist Cindy Bean said Sunday afternoon about the overnight outlook for Kern's mountain areas. She pegged the snow level at 4,500 feet.
At Bakersfield's Beach Park shortly before dusk, dog owner Matt Faulkner delighted in the crisp air as children rollicked in the sand and joggers headed for home.
"I love this kind of weather," the 43-year-old said, his small pack of miniature Pinschers frolicking nearby. "It's just really nice when we have good, clear air like this."
Clear it was, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's daily air quality forecast. It listed the entire valley as having "good" air -- same as Saturday and Monday; nowhere was there a ban on burning wood in a fireplace.
Jim Bagnall, another meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Hanford offices, noted that clean air generally results under such conditions.
"We got a nice frontal system that came through and that's usually what it takes to scour that bad air out," Bagnall said. He added that the good air quality will likely remain for a few days until high pressure traps the air "and then you wait for the (frontal) system to come along."
Sunday was a bit cooler, too. Bagnall said the high was 52 or 53 degrees, as compared with Saturday's high of 60 degrees.
Looking forward, Bean said it's too soon to say goodbye to the clouds that formed when Sunday's northwesterly winds hit moisture left behind by the cold front.
"They'll remain in the mountains, and we could see some more cloud cover (Monday) -- some partly cloudy skies," she said.
As for the rest of the week, she said to expect dry, warmer weather.
"We should see a gradual warming trend through the week," she said, with temperatures topping 60 degrees by Wednesday or Thursday.