Planning outdoor activities this weekend? It might be a good idea to take some extra precautions as Bay Area temperatures are expected to rise higher than initially forecast.
The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for the interior Bay Area and Central Coast going into the weekend, with inland highs predicted to range from the upper 90s up to 110 degrees by Saturday.
The toasty forecast coincides with California’s launch on Tuesday of “Heat Ready CA,” a new campaign to help protect communities from extreme heat as heat waves increase in frequency and intensity.
The campaign’s website, available in English, Spanish and soon expected in 10 Asian languages, provides resources to prepare a personalized plan to protect individuals and vulnerable family members, find the nearest cooling centers, and will soon help identify warning signs of heat-related illnesses. It will also provide tools to assess risk for heat-sensitive groups.
Announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the campaign is one of the nation’s first statewide multi-ethnic awareness and education campaigns to tackle extreme heat, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Historic heat wave
California, among other southwestern states, is predicted to experience one of the worst heat waves in history in terms of severity and longevity, with the peak temperatures expected during the second half of this week.
Excessive heat watches and warnings are in effect across the southern half of the state, with additional watches, warnings, and advisories possible farther north, including the San Joaquin Valley.
This week’s warming trend began Tuesday, with inland temperatures hitting the mid-80s to low 90s from the North Bay to southern Monterey County.
Temperatures are expected to peak starting Friday, with moderate to major heat risk for much of the Bay Area, North Bay and Central Coast. With low relative humidity, this weekend’s dry heat also brings an elevated danger of fires inland, the weather service warned.
Overnight lows in the interior valleys should dip into the 60s, but are expected to remain in the 70s to 80s in the hills. Meanwhile, slightly cooler temperatures are on the forecast for Monday.
Hots are getting hotter
“The impacts of climate change have never been more clear — the hots continue to get hotter in our state and across the West putting millions of Californians at risk,” Newsom said in a statement. “California is launching Heat Ready CA as another tool in the state’s arsenal to protect people from extreme heat. We’re asking everyone to stay alert to changing weather and take the necessary steps to keep themselves and their families safer from deadly heat waves.”
Heat Ready CA is a two-year, $20 million campaign focusing on groups at highest risk from heat including those 65 years of age or older, workers, individuals experiencing homeless, with chronic illness, disabilities, or who are pregnant, among others. It is part of Newsom’s Extreme Heat Action Plan — a state action plan to build community resilience — guiding the state’s response to heatwaves, protecting frontline workers and helping communities set up cooling centers.
“The impacts of climate change have never been more clear — the hots continue to get hotter in our state and across the West putting millions of Californians at risk.”Gov. Gavin Newsom
“Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as respiratory problems, are among the potentially dangerous effects of extreme heat,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary for the California Health and Human Services. “But as with earthquakes, floods or other natural weather events, Californians can better protect themselves and others with a few simple tips.”
Ways to keep your cool
The tips include:
• Stay cool: Avoid being outside in the direct heat for a long time. Try to stay in air-conditioned spaces, at home with the thermostat set between 75-80 degrees, or at a local library, shopping mall, or community center. If staying home, keep blinds closed and wear loose, light-colored, lightweight clothing. People are discouraged from taking a swim as many California rivers are running faster, while lakes are deeper and colder than they’ve been in recent years.
• Stay hydrated: People should drink at least two cups of water every hour even if they’re not feeling thirsty, and should avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks.
• Look after each other: Check in on friends and family, especially elderly relatives or neighbors. Call 911 if there are signs of high fever (103 degrees or higher) or in case of other emergencies.
The campaign will use a culturally responsive approach with outreach, advertising, influencers and social media engagement, the statement said. More than 100 community-based organizations will be doing outreach in every California county in over 30 languages.
Meanwhile, people looking for relief from the heat this weekend might want to consider heading to the coast, which will continue to remain under a marine influence that will keep temperatures hovering from the mid-60s to low-70s.