California is in for a heat wave.
The Golden State has recently been locked into a cloudier- and chillier-than-usual weather pattern, a stark contrast to the extreme heat gripping so much of the country. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that the city had not yet hit 70 degrees this month, only the third time in a century that June has been that cool.
But hotter conditions are on the way. A high-pressure system building over the Pacific and moving into the Western United States is expected to raise temperatures in California beginning today, with the highest readings expected over the weekend.
On Friday, Sacramento is expected to log its first triple-digit temperature of the year. Bakersfield, Madera and Merced may all exceed 105 degrees, and Fresno may reach 109 on Saturday, said Jessica Chiari, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s San Joaquin Valley office, in Hanford.
It will be a marked shift from the recent string of daily highs that have been running 10 degrees below normal for the region, Chiari said, adding that once the heat arrives, it is unlikely to let up for several days.
“Right now, it looks like we’re going to have fairly consistent triple-digit temperatures here going into next week,” she told me.
The heat isn’t expected to break records, but it will pose unusually high risks to Californians, experts say. The abruptness of the change means that many people aren’t yet acclimated to warmer weather, and will be at increased risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
“It’ll feel hotter than it is, of course, because it’s been so chilly as of late,” Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at U.C.L.A., told reporters on Monday. “The transition will feel rather sudden. It’s not that humans can’t handle 90 or 100 degrees. It’s that if you go quickly from chilly temperatures to 100 degrees, then you’re going to have some more problems potentially.”
Swain and other experts recommend taking extra precautions to stay hydrated and cool, and keeping an eye out for signs of heat-related illnesses. You can read more about how to stay safe in extreme heat here.
Experts also warn that the heat wave will make fireworks extra dangerous in our already fire-prone state. More wildfires are started on July 4 than on any other day, Swain said.
The National Weather Service’s office in Los Angeles warned, “The increased heat and dryness will increase the fire weather concerns, and any spark from fireworks could easily start a fire in the tall grass crop that has cured and turned brown in recent weeks.”
In some parts of the state, temperatures could drop again fairly soon.
The National Weather Service’s forecast for the next two weeks shows temperatures along the coast that will be around the seasonal average, and slightly above-average temperatures inland. Even so, the long-range forecast for July through September shows hotter-than-normal temperatures across the state.
Where we’re traveling
Today’s tip comes from Sophie Tivona:
“My favorite place to visit in California is Temescal Alley in Oakland. It’s a little oasis tucked away off Telegraph Avenue that has a collection of small shops run by micro business owners. You can shop from people who actually make the items in their shops — clothes, ice cream, stationery, jewelry. There’s even an old-school barbershop and a record shop! The Alley also includes two beautiful, secret garden patios that serve smash burgers and bagels on the weekends. It’s a true gem in Oakland, surrounded by amazing restaurants — you could spend the whole day here!”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
We’re almost halfway through 2023! What are the best things that have happened to you so far this year? What have been your wins? Or your unexpected joys, big or small?
Tell me at [email protected]. Please include your full name and the city where you live.
And before you go, some good news
A baby red-tailed hawk has been adopted by a pair of eagles in Northern California, USA Today reports.
Red-tailed hawks make begging calls similar to those of eaglets. The eagles most likely heard the call of the baby hawk and brought the bird back to their nest as prey for their own eaglet, the news outlet reports.
But then they began to raise the hawk as their own.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.
Briana Scalia and Allison Honors contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].