does it snow in bakersfield

Does it snow in Bakersfield CA? The summers in Bakersfield are hot and dry, while the winters are cool.

During the summer, it can get really hot, with temperatures going above 100F. And that makes people question, “How often does it snow in Bakersfield, CA?”

The truth is that winters are really cold at night, with temperatures dropping to 30F.  But what about snow? Let’s find out now!

While winters can get quite cold in Bakersfield, you rarely see any snow in the main city, mainly due to its warmer temperatures during the day. 

A Bit about the Climate of Bakersfield, CA

does it snow in bakersfield ca

In Bakersfield, July is typically the hottest month of the year.

The temperature can get really hot here, with average highs reaching around 97°F. It is even hotter than most places in California.

In Bakersfield, three months are really nice and pleasant – October, April, and May. The temperatures stay pleasant, ranging from 70 to 85F.

Here is a bit about weather highlights for Bakersfield:

Max Temp in SummerMin Temp in WinterAverage Rainfall
97F in July38F in January7 inches/year

Does It Snow in Bakersfield CA?

The short answer is, “No, it rarely snows in Bakersfield, CA.”The city does not get much snow because it is usually warm and dry there.

They do not get any snow in a year, but most US cities get 28 inches. 

The Status of Rain

the status of rain in bakersfield

Bakersfield does not get a lot of rain either, only about 7 inches per year.

That is way less than the average amount of rain in the United States, about 38 inches.

Here is a bit more about the climate average in Bakersfield compared to the U.S. average:

 United StatesBakersfield
  Rainfall38.1 in.7.2 in.
  Snowfall27.8 in.0.1 in.
  Precipitation106.2 days38.1 days
  Sunny205 days272 days
  Avg. July High85.8°97.4°
  Avg. Jan. Low21.7°37.7°
  Comfort Index78.1

An Important Consideration

The city does not get a lot of rain or snow because it is usually warm and dry in southern California.

Although the mountains close by sometimes get snow, it hardly ever snows directly in Bakersfield.

Fact: Bakersfield has a ton of sunny days - around 272 days every year, which is more than the average number of sunny days in the US. 

Has it ever snowed in Bakersfield, CA?

has it ever snowed in bakersfield

People who have lived in Bakersfield for a long time know that it sometimes snows there.

Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, it is an event occurring once every 25 years.

Also, keep in mind that days with short-lived flurries that only last a few minutes do not really matter.

This is about snow that can make this usually dry city slow down or even come to a halt. 

How Are Winters in Bakersfield?

The weather in Bakersfield can be really cold during the winter. December is typically the coldest month, with average temperatures dropping to around 40F.

winters in bakersfield

In the winter, there is less daylight. December is the month with the shortest days, usually having only 9-10 hours of sunlight on average.

Fact: During winter, Bakersfield gets a lot of rain, making December the rainiest month as well, with an average rainfall of 1.26 inches. 

History of Snowfall in Bakersfield, CA

Snow is not something you see often in Bakersfield. It has only happened a few times in the past hundred years, and only when the weather gets really special. 

Notable Snowstorms

notable snowstorms in bakersfield

On January 25, 1999, Bakersfield got hit by a really big snowstorm. It snowed a lot, about 6-8 inches, which is a lot for that area.

The snow was so heavy that it caused everything to stop, and people could not go about their usual activities.

Here is a clear explanation of the history of snowfall in Bakersfield:

YearSnow AmountImpact
1930s~6 inchesPhotographic evidence
1974Coating – several inchesSchools kept kids inside
19996-8 inchesWidespread closures across the city

Rarity of Snow

rarity of snow in bakersfield

The snow day in 1999 was the largest one ever recorded in the city. It suggests that it hardly ever snows in the city.

Here is more about snowfall data in the last 7 years:


Why is Snow So Rare in Bakersfield, CA?

Snow is not something that happens very often in Bakersfield, California.

In order for snow to build up in Bakersfield, everything has to be just right with the weather.

  • First, we need cold air to be present.
  • After that, the precipitation must fall while the cold air stays around.
  • Back-to-back storms lead to perfect weather conditions.

As it does not happen in Bakersfield, we rarely see any snow in the area.

Here is a bit more about why Bakersfield is less likely to get snow:

Geographical Factors

geographical factors of bakersfield

One of the main reasons why it does not snow much in Bakersfield is because of where it is located on the map.

Bakersfield is located in the southern part of California’s Central Valley, which is a really big and mostly flat area.

Unlike places with lots of mountains where snow is more likely, Bakersfield’s landscape does not really allow for much snow to happen. 

The Role of Elevation

the role of elevation in bakersfield

The fact that the city is not very high above sea level is really important.

The exact elevation of Bakersfield, CA, is 404 ft. The mountains around Bakersfield are really tall, with some peaks reaching over 8,000 feet.

Because Bakersfield is at a lower altitude, it rarely gets snow.

Fact: Snow usually falls in places that are higher up, where it is colder and better for snow to form and build up. 

Influence of the Pacific Ocean

the influence of pacific ocean

The big ocean next to Bakersfield greatly affects the weather, especially in the winter.

The ocean’s moderating effect on temperature also called the maritime influence, makes winters not too cold in coastal and nearby inland areas.

Although the Pacific Ocean can make things cooler and wetter, it does not usually bring the cold air that is necessary for it to snow in Bakersfield. 

An Important Consideration

West of Bakersfield, mountains and the ocean stop most of the cold air from coming into the Central Valley.

Instead, this cold air tends to get stuck in the higher parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains towards the east. 

The Impact of Orographic Lifting

the orographic lifting impact

Although it does not snow much in Bakersfield, the mountains nearby sometimes get snow in the winter.

Orographic lifting has an effect on the climate in Bakersfield.

When air with a lot of moisture in it goes up over mountains, it gets cooler and turns into water droplets, which then fall as rain or snow.

The mountains to the east of Bakersfield, called the Sierra Nevada Mountains, can block snow from coming into the city.

But if you go up higher in the mountains, you can find snow there.

Fact: The Sierra Nevada mountains, like Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes, get a lot of snow because they are high up and close to the Pacific Ocean.   

The Best Time to Visit Bakersfield

perfect time to visit bakersfield

From April to June, the weather is really nice, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s Fahrenheit. This makes it a great time to do things outside.

May is a great time to visit because it has the longest days with lots of sunlight (14 hours) and the weather is usually nice and warm, around 79°F.

It usually does not rain much during these months, so it will not mess up your outdoor plans too often.

Best Winter Activities

If you do decide to plan your trip in winter, you won’t regret that.

Here are some fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA during the winter.  

Ice skatingIce skating is a fun thing to do in the winter at the Valley Children’s Ice Center of Bakersfield.
MuseumsBakersfield has a few museums, such as the Kern County Museum and California Living Museum, offering a fantastic experience.
Theater showsPlaces like the Fox Theater and Maya Cinemas are great for having fun indoors and staying warm during the winter.
Kern River ParkwayThe Kern River Parkway has many hiking and biking trails that you can enjoy when the weather is not too cold.
best winter activities in bakersfield


Does it snow in Bakersfield, CA? No, it rarely snows in Bakersfield. That being said, the city has seen a few extra-ordinary snow days in the past.

Most winters are just rainy and cold, but sometimes we get lucky, and it snows. It is a reminder that anything can happen with the weather if the right conditions are met.

But, no matter when you decide to visit Bakersfield, there is plenty to keep you entertained.