Breaking News Blog

Thursday, Nov 21 2013 05:02 PM

Bakersfield gets record rain, winter weather advisory issued for mountains

  1. 1 of 5

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    The crosstown freeway at 23rd and Eye Streets got hit hard by the Thursday evening deluge causing traffic to come to a snail pace.

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  2. 2 of 5

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Vehicles were forced to slow down after a downpour in Bakersfield Thursday evening, especially in this area of 23rd and Eye streets.

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  3. 3 of 5

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Highway traffic on the 99 is steady as rain falls on the Bakersfield area Thursday morning.

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  4. 4 of 5

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    It was a wet night along Chester Avenue during the Thursday evening downpour in Bakersfield and other parts of Kern County. The bright headlights and taillights in the long exposure make it a colorful and wet scene.

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  5. 5 of 5

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially when the Christmas lights on this house at 20th and C streets are reflected in the flooded intersection of the two streets after the Thursday night downpour.

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By The Bakersfield Californian

While Bakersfield received a record amount of rainfall Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory through 4 p.m. Friday for areas in the Kern County mountains above 4,000 feet.

The rain caused some flooding of downtown streets, forcing detours around underpasses. There were reports of debris and mud on Highway 178 East and some street flooding in parts of desert towns.

During the heaviest parts of the rain, the California Highway Patrol was responding to more than 30-weather related accidents.

The weather service called for snow and strong winds for areas above 4,000 feet, and 3 to 5 inches of snow for areas above 5,000 feet were predicted.

Rain Thursday was expected to change to snow after dark in higher elevations. Snow was expected periodically during the night, while snow showers were anticipated during the day Friday.

As much as an inch of snow could accumulate on the Grapevine by the morning commute.

The weather service recorded .86 inches of rain at Meadows Field Airport through 8 p.m. Thursday, with one-third of that accumulating between 6:30 and 9 p.m.

The previous rainfall record for the date was .46 inches in 1996.

Other parched areas of the county also received significant amounts of rain. Tehachapi and surrounding areas registered up to .84 inches while Wofford Heights got .4 inches and Mojave .3 inches.

The center of the low-pressure system responsible for the precipitation rotated through Thursday counterclockwise from the southeast to the northwest.

“I think everybody (in Kern County) has gotten some” precipitation, said Jim Bagnall, a NWS meteorologist. “We were looking for this storm system to produce showers and it’s just a matter of where the heavy rain came together.”

The service said gusty northeast winds of 35 to 45 mph may cause blowing snow at times.

The weather service cautioned travel could be hazardous and complicated by restrictions and closures. It advised people to carry winter kits if they travel through the mountains Friday.

Locations affected include Frazier Park, Bear Valley Springs, Pine Mountain Club and Breckenridge.

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