Final month, Bakersfield’s eighth driest February in 128 years of reports

They say the month of March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – but that’s clearly not happening in Bakersfield this year.

In fact, even February – usually the wettest month in Bakersfield – has been exceptionally stingy when it comes to rainstorms in Bakersfield. Think about lamb. All month long.

February 2021 was the eighth driest February in Bakersfield since official rainfall records began in 1893, according to the National Weather Service’s Hanford station.

“Bakersfield received 0.09 inches of rain in February,” said Andy Bollenbacher, a meteorologist at the NWS in Hanford.

“That’s awful,” he said. “No question about it, it was a miserable February.”

In a normal year, Bakersfield rains more in February than in December, January and March. But this year it dried up.

“The average in Bakersfield is 1.24 inches,” Bollenbacher said of a normal February.

If that news wasn’t enough to shorten your showers, it comes exactly a year after a bone-dry February 2020 that had the dubious accolade of being Bakersfield’s second driest February on record.

This year may be a very dry one.

Without the “atmospheric river storms” that occurred at the end of January, we would be in much worse shape, said Bollenbacher.

“The month of January was still below average,” he said. “But February was much worse.”

If you want to ride a bike, walk or exercise in the great outdoors, the weather is just perfect.

But when you’re growing some of the myriad of agricultural products that are made in the southern San Joaquin Valley, there is something to worry about.

The local forecast, Bollenbacher said, shows some cloud cover starting late Wednesday today, but there doesn’t seem to be much, if any, local rainfall.

“Maybe, maybe an isolated shower or two,” he said. “I don’t see anything significant.”

The La Nina system has kept things pretty dry and it is a “coin toss” whether things might change in March.

Another low pressure system is expected over the weekend.

“We should see some winds Friday night,” he said. “But Saturday is unlikely to be a big rain maker.”

Reporter Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @semayerTBC.

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