High heat gives way to wind and rain for a couple of hours
Weather over the long Labor Day weekend started extremely hot and stayed that way until gusty winds and a thunderstorm brought a downpour of rain and cooled temperatures by more than 30 degrees Sunday afternoon.
But the weekend finished the way it started -- hot, only this time with humidity added in.
But it was an interesting Sunday afternoon.
Saturday's high was a sweltering 109 degrees and Sunday was looking like it was going to be at least that hot when the temperature hit 107 at 2:43 p.m.
But changes were already starting. Winds started kicking up just before 4 p.m. and in a few minutes were gusting to 29 miles per hour.
By 5 p.m. the gusts over 30 miles hour. the winds were coming from large thunderstorms to the south over the Frazier Park-Lockwood Valley-Cuyama Valley area.
By 5 p.m., the temperature had dropped to 90 degrees and the winds were increasing, starting to create visibility problems with blowing dust.
The strongest gust hit 46 miles per hour at 5:53 p.m.
That's just when the rain started. There were no sprinkles, just a sudden heavy downpour accompanied by flashes of lightning.
In less than an hour, the storm dropped .45 inches of rain in Taft and the temperature had dropped to 75 degrees.
There were scattered power outages, and a couple of trees were blown down, but no major or widespread damage was reported.
Monday dawned partly cloudy and humid. It stayed humid through the day with humidity in the 30-40 percent range and a high of 105 and a heat index ("feels like" temperature) of 105 in the afternoon.
But that's all going to change and the weather is finally gong to cool off for a bit, giving the Taft area some seasonable temperatures after a late summer heat wave that pushed afternoon highs into the 110 range and kept the area in triple digits for two weeks.
Afternoon highs will drop back into the low 90s, with overnight lows in the low 70s for the rest of the week before a slight warmup for the weekend.
Last week's hot weather played havoc with local sports schedules.
For the first time in memory, high school sports, including Friday night football games, were cancelled because of heat and air quality concerns. Practices were cancelled, then rescheduled in the predawn hours.
That's over and the schedule is returning to normal this week.
The TUHS Wildcat football team is scheduled to host Porterville Friday night. The junior varsity plays at 5 and the varsity follows at 7 p.m.