Northern California will see its first heat wave of the year this holiday weekend. Blistering triple digits are expected to hit the golden state by Friday afternoon and continue through at least Sunday.
The National Weather Service says that temperatures are expected to be around 10 to 15 degrees higher than normal and has issued an excessive heat warning for many areas in the Central Valley, including most of San Joaquin County.
“This heat will be DANGEROUS to anyone without cooling & hydrations,” the weather said Monday in a social media post warning. “If you MUST go outside, remember to take frequent breaks and bring extra water.”
Stockton in particular is forecasted to see temps ranging from 104 to 109, starting Friday afternoon and peaking Saturday, NWS meteorologist Katrina Hand said.
These hot conditions have been brought into the region by a high pressure weather pattern, Hand added. The area will also experience warmer overnight temperatures without the benefit the benefit of the usual airflow off Valley waterways.
“In this pattern, the Delta breeze kind of shuts off,” Hand told Stocktonia Friday morning, which can contribute to those higher evening temps. “Overnight is usually when people find their relief. … So if they’re still hot in the nighttime hours, that can lead to potential health related illnesses if it’s not taken care of with adequate cooling or hydration.”
Though still likely to be hot, Hand says slightly cooler conditions are expected heading into next week.
Stockton does not currently have plans to open its cooling centers this weekend, City spokesperson Connie Cochran said.
“We are encouraging people to take all the precautions they would normally take during hot weather,” Cochran told Stocktonia, encouraging Stocktonians to take advantage of the city’s libraries and recreational water facilities to keep cool. (Stockton’s libraries are generally closed Sundays and the Weber Fountain downtown will be closed Monday in preparation for the city’s Fourth of July celebrations.)
This is the first time since the beginning of the year that there has been such a large jump in temps, Hand said. Typically, late June to July sees numbers generally in the mid 90s.
“During the whole spring … we had a lot of cooler, low pressure systems moving through,” Hand said. “Even if they were dry systems, they were still bringing cooler temperatures, which kind of slowed the warming, at least over the past few months or so.”
Hand said that practicing heat safety over the next few days will be essential.
“Find a cooling center if you don’t have access to air conditioning, stay hydrated and take frequent frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning,” Hand says.
Cochran all said that activities should be done in the mornings, describing the forecasted high temperatures for Saturday as a time “to hunker down and keep your activities at a minimum.” She also suggested that people check on their heat-sensitive neighbors and make sure their pets have plenty of water.
Both Cochran and Hand also cautioned those planing to spend time on the water this holiday weekend to be mindful.
“There’s a lot of people with outdoor plans, either heading up to the mountains or are heading to the rivers,” Hand said. “The water temperatures are actually still running pretty cold from the snow melts. So just encouraging people to be smart around the area waterways.”
People should also be aware of higher streamflows than they may be used to, Cochran said.