Monsoonal moisture and triple digits persist


The thunderstorms that moved across the Kern County desert and mountains earlier this week had by Thursday, Aug. 3, spread across the foothills and mountains of Tulare County. Death Valley experienced some high wind, showy sheet lightning, and two days of a flash flood watch.
Most of the activity in Kaweah Country was confined to overcast skies that kept the temperatures in the upper 90s, but with humid conditions.         
The culprit that has been drawing the muggy weather northward is a low-pressure system parked a couple hundred miles off the coast of San Francisco. It should move onshore by Saturday, Aug. 5, and migrate inland. That will bring drier and hotter weather and a return to triple digits for most of California.
But California is not the only place where it’s extremely hot. In traditionally cooler locales in the Pacific Northwest like Seattle and Portland were bracing for highs from 95 to 105. If the temperature reaches 100 as predicted this week, it will be the first time ever some of these locales have experienced triple digits. 
Seattle has had only three days in the triple digits in the last 123 years. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Seattle was 103 on July 29, 2009. It has never had a triple-digit reading in August. 
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Seattle recorded its second warmest minimum temperature ever when the thermometer never dropped below 69 degrees. That’s a similar trend being felt in the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra foothills. Bakersfield recorded a record high minimum temperature of 80 degrees on August 2.
Sustained temperatures— In Three Rivers, there have been nighttime temperatures in the upper 80s recorded recently. And according to NOAA forecasters, there is no relief in the 15-day forecast. 
In Three Rivers, the weekend and workweek will start out muggy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Then triple-digit highs return throughout the period. 
Since June 14, the high temperature each day has been 95 degrees or higher. Although, the highs are not setting any all-time records, it’s conceivable the nighttime lows are. These records for Three Rivers have not been officially archived by the National Weather Service until recently.                  
The nearby mountains do experience some rapid cooling with passing storm cells. Daytime highs at 7,500 feet have been averaging in the mid 80s with nighttime lows around 50. 
Lake Kaweah is releasing six times more water than is currently flowing into the basin. The only snow remaining in the high country is in steep mountain passes and north-facing slopes above 10,000 feet. The whitewater rafting season will continue awhile longer, with conditions now suitable for kids. Lake Kaweah as of Thursday, Aug. 3: Storage 95,297 acre feet; inflow 344 cfs; outflow 2,099; pool elevation 666.87 feet.        


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