How long does the warmth last?

Sunglasses were being pulled out, sunscreen was being handed out and air con was being turned on everywhere in the Bay Area on Tuesday. It wasn't hot enough for the old joke, “I saw a bird pull a worm out of the ground with an oven mitt,” but in some places it felt that way.

“This is our first real taste of summer,” said Matt Mehle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. “It's hot. We're not used to the heat yet.”

Summer officially starts in two weeks, on June twentieth.

Still, the warmth wave pushed temperatures in lots of communities 10 to fifteen degrees above normal, making Tuesday the most well liked day of 2024 within the Bay Area up to now and the most well liked since last October.

At 3 p.m., Vacaville in Solano County was the most well liked place within the nine-county Bay Area at 40 degrees. Not far behind were Santa Rosa at 38 degrees, Henry Coe State Park near Gilroy at 37 degrees and Concord at 37 degrees. Temperatures in San Jose were a little bit milder at 32 degrees, while Oakland reached 28 degrees and San Francisco was not affected by the warmth in any respect at 23 degrees. Temperatures in all three cities are expected to proceed to rise by late afternoon.

The heat is anticipated to peak on Wednesday, Mehle said. Highs of 98 degrees are expected in Concord and Livermore, 95 degrees in San Jose and Napa, 91 degrees in Hollister, 82 degrees in Oakland and 76 degrees in San Francisco.

The National Weather Service issued a heat warning for a lot of the Bay Area from Sonoma County to Monterey County until midnight Thursday and urged people to drink loads of fluids, take breaks within the shade when working outdoors and watch out not to depart pets or children in cars.

Although it was hot, the Bay Area escaped the scorching heat that was forecast to hit other parts of California and the Southwest, as they simmered under a “heat dome” of high-pressure air.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat warning for the Central Valley through Friday. Temperatures between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius are forecast for the San Joaquin Valley, the Sacramento Valley and the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It was even hotter in Death Valley, where 49 degrees Celsius were possible. Highs of 39 degrees Celsius are expected in Las Vegas on Thursday, and 39 degrees Celsius in Phoenix.

Bay Area residents can thank the ocean for this.

“If you leave San Jose and drive through Gilroy to Los Banos, it will be up to 15 degrees hotter over the next few days,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with the Golden Gate Weather Service in Half Moon Bay. “Along our coast, the ocean is around 10 degrees and the waters of San Francisco Bay are around 18 degrees. That affects the air. That's our natural air conditioning. The further inland you go, the less of it there is.”

Null noted that temperatures within the Bay Area are expected to return to near-normal June levels by Friday.

“It's a good warm-up, but it won't last long,” he said.

The higher temperatures raised fears of grass fires. The Corral Fire, which broke out Saturday in a rural area between Livermore and Tracy and burned 14,000 acres of land and destroyed a house, was 90 percent contained as of Tuesday.

“The heat increases the risk of fire,” said Captain Chris Toler of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “High heat dries out vegetation and makes it more difficult to fight structure fires. We hope our residents have done their due diligence and created adequate shelter space around their homes.”

Although some heat waves have put strain on California's power grid, that shouldn't be the case this week, experts said Tuesday.

This is because some parts of the state, equivalent to Los Angeles, are usually not affected by the acute heat and the warmth will only last just a few days.

“There are no warnings, nothing. It's business as usual,” said Severin Borenstein, a professor of business administration at UC Berkeley and vice chairman of the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state's power grid.

Borenstein noted that peak electricity demand on Tuesday is anticipated to be about 33,000 megawatts. The state had 47,000 megawatts of power. The highest demand of the yr, during extreme heat waves in late summer that last every week or more and drive up air con use in hundreds of thousands of homes, is about 52,000 megawatts.

As of midday Tuesday, 77 percent of California's electricity was generated by solar. In recent years, several blackouts have occurred during heat waves as solar energy fades because the sun sets. State regulators have due to this fact urged utilities to speed up the development of enormous batteries that may now store about 8,000 megawatts – up from almost none five years ago – and be utilized in the early evening, Borenstein noted.

“Things are looking good,” he said. “We're in the best position we've been in for at least three or four years.”

Across the Bay Area, people flocked to summer activities.

The queue in front of the water slide at The Wave water park in Dublin was 50 people long.

“It's very hot. There's not a cloud in the sky. It's sweltering hot,” said Lauren Schorah, who got here to the water park along with her two sons, Edward (6) and Oliver (9). “The kids just finished school. We wanted to cool off and meet up. Everyone had the same idea as us!”

Long queues also formed in front of ice cream parlors.

“We're full. Ice cream is a great way to cool down,” said Anjan Parikh, owner of Sweet Retreat ice cream shop on Blossom Hill Road in San Jose. “The higher the temperature, the better the business. There's a one-to-one correlation.”

On the approach to Happy Hollow Zoo, Angie Lomeli passed through Kelley Park in San Jose along with her 4-year-old grandson, Rico. She takes him to the zoo a minimum of once every week, she said, and the warmth didn't stop her from making the trip today, regardless that the lemurs and other animals were within the shade.

“He can’t be in the house too long without giving off some of his own warmth,” Lomeli said of her grandson’s energy.

Rico wore shorts and a black t-shirt, while Lomeli also wore short-sleeved tops. She also had a bottle of water along with her.

“There’s a lot of shade there,” she said and went into the zoo.

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