As South Valley residents contemplate the arrival of another long hot summer, any weather system that delays the coming heat storm may feel like a stay of execution.
If that's true, we may be due for a little celebration.
A weather system that has prompted a winter storm warning in the southern Sierra mountains will probably not bring snow to the Kern County mountains, said Colin McKellar, a forecaster at the National Weather Service station in Hanford.
But it will bring moderate rainfall and cooler-than-normal temperatures to the southern San Joaquin Valley and the Tehachapi Mountains.
"This system is expected to be mostly focused in Tulare County north," he said.
And that could result in snow accumulations of up to 2 feet in mountain locations above 7,000 feet in elevation, with a few inches of snow likely between 5,000 and 7,000 feet.
The storm system, which is expected to remain active into early Friday morning, will likely drop about one-quarter of an inch of rain, possibly more, in the Bakersfield area, McKellar said.
The Grapevine, along the Interstate 5 corridor south of Bakersfield, will also see between one-quarter and one-half inch of rain.
And the temperatures will feel like early spring through the weekend.
After a high of about 80 degrees Wednesday, the overnight temperature is forecast to drop to 59 degrees, with a high of only 69 on Thursday and 68 on Friday. Temps through the weekend are expected to remain in the low- to mid-70s.