Now that spring has officially arrived, is it safe for Tehachapians to put away their snow boots and parkas?
While in the Land of Four Seasons anything is possible, forecasters say a warming trend is soon to arrive.
"What we have experienced from January until now, it has actually been cooler during a cooling trend," said meteorologist Carlos Molina of the National Weather Service's Hanford station, which serves the region that includes Kern County.
Tehachapi experienced two record lows so far this year. The first occurred Jan. 3 with a recorded low of 16 degrees, and the second on Feb. 12, with a recorded low of 19 degrees, according to Molina.
"That occurred during the times where you were getting more significant snowfall across Tehachapi, called the colder air phasing," he said.
"Colder air phasing" occurs when warmer Pacific moisture from the south keeps snow levels low.
"We have had a lot of storms come down from the Pacific northwest bringing in more colder air. The fact that we had a more frequency of storms prevented Tehachapi from being able to warm up," he said.
Add to this the strength of the storms, and Tehachapi saw significant snowfall this year.
According to Molina, total precipitation for 2019 is 10.62 inches, almost double the normal total of 6.51 inches. These totals include snowmelt.
Molina said Tehachapi will see highs near 70 degrees; however, lows will remain on the cooler side.
"Once this next storm moves through, it looks like temperatures will start to rebound again back to normal conditions. Even though for the next few days it may feel on the cool side, things are definitely warming up now," he said.
All that winter weather not only affected driving conditions, but many local businesses were forced to shutter their doors Feb. 21 due to heavy snowfall.
Tehachapi Unified School District also reported a total of four snow days this year; however, Interim Tehachapi Unified School District Superintendent Paul Kaminski said he closed school for five days total.
"This was more than we had scheduled. We will be putting four more snow days in for next year's calendar," Kaminski said.
According to the superintendent, TUSD has, in the past, experienced winters when more than five snow days were necessary.
Other than snow days, locals schools experienced some minor flooding, Kaminiski said.
"Those were short-term addressed, and then there will be a long-term over the summer when the maintenance folks will address those," he said.