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Heat wave poised to hit Bay Area: Inland temps could soar to 100

San Francisco Chronicle logo San Francisco Chronicle 6 days ago By Ron Kroichick

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Summer might not officially arrive for nearly another month, but summer weather — especially in inland locations — is poised to steam into the Bay Area in the days ahead.

Temperatures were expected to reach the mid-70s around the bay and low-to-mid 80s inland Saturday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass. That merely serves as an appetizer for the main course of unusual springtime heat.

Sunday will bring higher temperatures, still in the 70s in San Francisco but climbing into the low 90s in the North Bay and East Bay valleys. More of the same awaits Monday on Memorial Day — and then the serious heat arrives Tuesday and Wednesday.

Those days will feature temperatures in the 80s in San Francisco and upper 90s in San Jose, Gass said, possibly even reaching 100 in cities such as Concord, Brentwood and Livermore. An excess heat watch runs through Thursday, when some welcome cooling forms near the coast and spreads inland Friday.

Or, put another way, a warm holiday weekend will give way to a downright hot final week of May. 

“Our heat events are kind of sporadic throughout the year,” Gass said. “Unlike other places across the country, where you anticipate heat events in July and August, we can have some in May. It’s not as common, but it’s not unheard of.”

The impending heat figures to draw plenty of people outside, even with Bay Area shelter-in-place mandates in effect through May 31. County officials have been loosening restrictions, and residents no doubt are restless after more than two months of mostly staying at home.

One promising side note to the rising temperatures: Not much wind. That eases ever-present wildfire fears throughout Northern California.

“Absolutely, the hot temperatures and dry weather increase the possible fire danger,” said Robert Foxworthy, a spokesman for Cal Fire. “That said, we’re still very early in the season. The fuels haven’t dried out and we had high measurable rain the last few weeks.

“Things really haven’t had time to dry out like they would in August or September, so we’re in a decent spot when it comes to fire danger.”

Some fire units throughout the state are declaring Monday as the start of fire season. Other locations — such as Humboldt and Mendocino counties, which were soaked with rain as recently as last weekend — pushed the back the season’s start into June.

“I feel people get more aware of it as the season goes along,” Foxworthy said. “But with what we’ve dealt with in California the last five years, people also know once it gets warm you’re in that fire danger area. It’s time to be on your guard, and do what you need to do to stay fire safe.”

State parks are not allowing camping, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But for people planning a campfire or cooking fire in a day-use area, Foxworthy offered these reminders: clear leaves and debris in a 10-foot perimeter from the fire; have a responsible person in attendance at all times; and ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

Ron Kroichick is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @ronkroichick


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