The fog in Bakersfield is a love-hate relationship

November 16 – Waking up to a dense fog blanket in Bakersfield is actually quite rare in November, despite the heavy fog conditions that settled over the South Valley and most of Bakersfield on Monday morning.

According to data collected by the National Weather Service’s Hanford station, Bakersfield only experiences an average of 2.6 days of dense fog in a typical November. The appearance of the light gray haze is much more common in December and January, according to statistics from the NWS.

If so, then why do we have fog now and what is the outlook for the rest of the week?

“Fog formation in the valley requires two key ingredients,” said Dan Harty, meteorologist at the Hanford station of the NWS.

The first is humidity, and Bakersfield received it in late October when nearly an inch of rain fell over Bakersfield and the surrounding area. The second ingredient is a nice, gentle high-pressure system, said Harty, who needs to settle over the area, calm the winds and air movement, and let the temperatures cool down.

But predicting the formation and behavior of fog is not an exact science.

“It’s a little difficult to predict the fog,” said Harty.

And with a weak low coming in from the north, that might be enough to shake things up in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, he said.

Maximum temperatures are expected to stay in the 60s and 70s through Friday, with overnight lows in the 40s to 50s, the meteorologist said.

There is certainly a possibility that given the right conditions, the fog could return, Harty said.

In a conversation that started Monday on Facebook, local residents shared varying responses to Monday’s fog – and the possibility that we are seeing more of it in the South Valley.

“It definitely brought back feelings of nostalgia,” Bakersfield artist-musician Deedra Patrick said of the fog. “I didn’t realize it had been so long since I had seen him … until I saw him. That’s when I realized, longing or not, I didn’t miss that. “

Chris Carton was even more blunt about the idea that the fog might have redeeming qualities.

“People who want fog like we had it,” Carton said, “don’t have to drive in it.”

Many remembered in the 1970s not being able to see past the hood of their car – or seeing traffic lights at intersections.

“I remember when I was a teenager walking down Belle Terrace and my friend had to walk in front of my car so we could see the lines on the road,” recalls Vicki Seaton. “It gave new meaning to ‘I can’t see the hand in front of your face’.”

But some saw the fog as a definitive statement that the long, hot summer of 2021 is officially behind us, and we have cool temperatures and the possibility of precipitation to look forward to.

“When I don’t have to drive in the fog, I find it wonderful,” said retired librarian Ann Gallon. “There is a peaceful silence, a visual sweetness.

“The outside world was so humid this morning,” she said. “I’m sure the trees, shrubs and roses were heaving a sigh of relief. I turned off my sprinkler system for the winter.”

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

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