After a cool weekend for mid-June in Kern County, the first day of summer is coming Thursday and bringing with it triple-digit temperatures and memories of last year’s record-breaking season.
Hot summers and overall warmer weather seems to be the trend, said Jerald Meadows, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service San Joaquin Valley Office. He said each year sees seasonally higher average temperatures than the last.
Although the summer season may be reaching its official start, Meadows expects temperatures to stay down until July, rather than mimicking last year’s record highs that came at the end of June with a three-day streak of 110 degrees.
“Record-breaking? I’m not expecting that at this time,” Meadows said.
It will no doubt be getting hot toward this weekend with a heat wave expected to come through, but not quite at the level of last June.
Once temperatures begin to really heat up, Meadows said, the heat will be expected to linger until September, leading into an above-average fall and winter. For instance, the end of last October had temperatures in the 90s.
“It could just be by one degree, but that trend is not a good sign, in my opinion,” said Meadows, who explained that any degree above average can be negative in terms of precipitation.
In 2017, Bakersfield had its second-warmest year on record with the average temperature being 3.2 degrees above normal, ranking just above 2016, which had an average temp of 1.9 degrees above normal, according to data by the National Weather Service in Hanford.
Although it is indeed getting hotter, there are some cool things about the start of summer. For instance, the June 21 summer solstice will be our longest day of the year with 14 hours, 32 seconds and 49 milliseconds of daylight. Conversely, winter solstice on Dec. 21, the shortest day of 2018, will be just over nine hours and 46 seconds long.
High heat also means cooling centers will open in Kern County to keep the public safe from dangerous temperatures. Centers in the San Joaquin Valley and Kern River Valley will open their doors when the temperature reaches 105 degrees. The Frazier Park mountain center will open at 95 degrees, and desert centers in California City, Ridgecrest and Rosamond will open when it is 108 degrees outside.
The cooling centers will run from 1-8 p.m. For information about the centers and to check if they are open, visit kerncounty.com/pio/coolingcenters or call any of the locations.
Another option to stay indoors is to visit any Kern County Library location during business hours. Or, go out and visit one of the 10 spray parks in Bakersfield open 1-6 p.m. for free every day, or one of four public pools. McMurtrey Aquatic Center costs $4 per person or $13 for a group of four. Other city pools are $1 at the gate.
“It’s the perfect way to cool off,” said Dianne Hoover, director of City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks.
For more information on the spray parks, pools and upcoming events, visit the recreation and parks website.