By Melissa A. Nagel, Contributor, Valley Ag Voice
On February 23, 2022, the Water Association of Kern County (WAKC) hosted a lunch with KBAK-TV’s Chief Meteorologist Miles Muzio at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Many WAKC members were in attendance, along with some local Kern County farmers and other Kern citizens wondering what the rest of 2022 has in store for Kern County weather-wise. Some hot topics were discussed during the meeting such as current drought conditions, expected rainfall, and snowpack runoff predictions for the year. And although we’re still going to be in a considerable drought for the duration of the year, Mile’s said we can expect some decent rainfall up into April, which is music to some local farmers’ ears.
As mentioned, Miles Muzio is the Chief Meteorologist for local news station KBAK here in Bakersfield. He has been in the weather business for the past 50 years in various capacities. From serving as meteorologist in the United States Air Force, to briefing weather for an Alaskan Air Command 3-star General, to bringing us the most up-to-date weather in Bakersfield for many years, and much more. Miles is both a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and a station scientist. He also founded the Kern Chapter of the National Weather Association (NWA) in 2006. Kern County is lucky to have such a gifted and experienced meteorologist serving our community.
Miles gave a lot of great information and insight into Kern’s weather forecast for the rest of the year in his presentation. He began by explaining how he looks at the sea’s surface temperature when developing an extended forecast. Miles stated that his main reason for this is, “Because 70 percent of the earth’s surface is ocean and so that will have a palpable impact upon the other 30 percent of the world which is land.” Monitoring these moisture conditions in the ocean is what helps scientists predict weather anomalies such as La Nina. Miles also used these methods to develop his own way of predicting El Niño-like conditions, which he calls “La Mancha.” He used that system to predict that Kern County would have a very wet December in 2021, something other forecasters in California disagreed with. Nonetheless, we had a very precipitous December which has led to us having a decent “rain season” this year and is predicted to continue on throughout April.
Most of California was downgraded from the Extreme Drought category to the Severe Drought category in 2021, which is expected to be maintained throughout 2022. Although this is not great news for Kern County, it does offer some hope of a slightly less severe summer season. During the luncheon, Miles gave an updated rainfall outlook for the duration of Bakersfield’s rainy season. The numbers should look close to this: 1.12 inches of rain in March, 1.05 inches in April, .10 inches in May, and tapers to 0.00 in June as we get into the summer months. Our yearly precipitation total is expected to be around 5.99 percent, keeping us in the Moderate to Severe drought category.
To re-cap, we can expect more rain to carry us through April with small amounts of rain here and there in May. Unfortunately, our snowpack and reservoir levels have been underwhelming and will remain that way unless we receive some last-minute storms significant enough to increase the snowpack. With spring right around the corner, the likelihood of another Winter storm seems dim. To keep up with the current weather, visit BakersfieldNow.com/Weather or you can follow Miles Muzio on Facebook for his daily weather forecast. For updated drought information, you can visit Drought.gov.