A dangerous heat warning has been issued in the Central Valley for Friday as temperatures are predicted to soar into the triple digits.
The National Weather Service says Stockton will likely see a temperature range from 95 degrees to well above 100 degrees, with some possibility of temps rising above 105 degrees.
“Friday will be the warmest day of the year so far, with widespread high risk of heat-related illnesses,” the weather service posted on Twitter. “Daytime temperatures could reach at least 100-105° across the Valley on Friday, which combined with warm overnight temperatures will produce high risk for heat impacts for the general public.”
Stockton does not currently have plans to open any cooling centers, city spokeswoman Connie Cochran said Wednesday. General criteria for opening cooling centers is three consecutive days of triple digit heat without overnight cooling of below 80 degrees.
“We haven’t really gotten there,” Cochran said. “We’ve had a few hot days but it’s been cooling overnight.”
The weather service predicts that from Thursday to Saturday general temperature highs for the valley will range from 94 degrees to 106 degrees. Temps are then expected to drop overnight to a range of 65 degrees to 74 degrees, which is well below the 80-degree cooling center threshold.
Cochran also noted that only two days are supposed to reach triple digits.
However, the Stockton Fire Department stays in daily contact with the San Joaquin County of Emergency Services in case conditions change, Cochran said. There are also other unpredictable conditions that the city watches out for that could trigger the opening of cooling centers, she said, such as a widespread power outage.
“We will usually adjust to whatever the conditions are and the needs are,” Cochran said.
Stocktonians can also take advantage of “cooling zones” if temperatures become too hot, which she said can be especially important for those who either can’t afford to run their air conditioner or may not have a home cooling system all together.
“Seek relief in all the places you would normally seek relief,” Cochran said, such as a shopping mall or church. “Somewhere indoors that’s cool.”
The city’s community centers and libraries are also an available option, Cochran said. Stocktonians are more than welcome to “just sit there and remain cool.”
She said the Weber Point Fountain is also a popular spot, as well as the city’s community pools.
“Cooling centers” differ from “cooling zones” in that the centers stay open overnight, where people can find 24-hour shelter from the heat, as well as snacks and water, Cochran said. The zones are places that are regularly open to the public anyway where people can go to find some relief during the heat of the day.
Cochran also wanted to remind people to check in on neighbors who are considered at-risk for extreme heat effects, including the elderly, very young, economically disadvantaged and those with medical conditions such as heart and lung disease. This is especially important in the era of COVID-19, she said.
“We’ve all been in isolation so long we forget to check on others,” Cochran said.
For extreme heat days the city recommends:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Find air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Wear light clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Be sure pets have plenty of water.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
- Watch for heat illness – heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, difficulty
- breathing, or altered mental status, do not delay seeking care and contact 9-1-1.
For more information go to stocktonca.gov/heat.