Cooling centers up and down the Valley will reopen this weekend -- an ominous sign that extreme heat will return after a too-short cooldown.
In Fresno, Friday's high is forecast to reach 104 degrees, according to meteorologist Gary Sanger of the National Weather Service in Hanford.
"The extreme heat is back and summer has returned," he said.
Highs of 106 are expected in Fresno on Saturday and Sunday, while Visalia is forecast to hit 104 for the weekend. Weekend lows are also forecast above normal, with overnight temperatures in the lower to mid 70s, Sanger said.
Officials in both cities have issued statements announcing the opening of cooling centers. Visalia will open its transit center at 425 E. Oak Ave. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for residents to escape the hot weather.
In Fresno, cooling centers will open daily from noon to 8 p.m. at the Ted Wills, Frank H. Ball, Mosqueda and Pinedale community centers starting Friday until further notice.
Fresno residents can ride FAX buses for free along normal routes to and from cooling centers when they are open. To ride free, passengers need to tell the driver they are going to a cooling center.
City pools at Mosqueda, Ball and Mary Ella Brown centers will also offer free swimming for residents from 1 to 5 p.m. when the cooling centers are open. The Airways pool is open 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free swimming is always offered for residents at the Romain, Einstein, Quigley, Fink White and Pinedale pools from 1 to 5 p.m.
The extreme heat is expected to last through the weekend, Sanger said, with triple-digits lingering until next Thursday. Temperatures are forecast to drop to 101 on Monday and hover at the century mark until Thursday.
Hours: Noon to 8 p.m.
Locations: Ted C. Wills Community Center, 770 N. San Pablo Ave.; Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, 760 Mayor Ave.; Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave.; and Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave.
Splash parks: The free water-play areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for Tuesdays, when maintenance is done. Then they are open from noon to 8 p.m. Locations: Dickey Park Playground, 50 N. Calaveras St.; Figarden Loop Park, 4265 W. Figarden Drive; Todd Beamer Neighborhood Park, 1890 E. Plymouth Way.
Swimming pools: The city says that when it's cooling centers are open, swimming is free at these pools: Airways, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.; and Mosqueda, Frank H. Ball and Mary Ella Brown, 1 to 5 p.m. Pools at Romain, Einstein, Quigley, Fink White and Pinedale are always free for recreational swimming and open from 1 to 5 p.m., the city says.
Clovis: The city will direct people to Sierra Vista Mall, 1050 Shaw Ave., Clovis. The mall is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Transportation is available to cool zones through Clovis Stageline at (559) 324-2770 and Clovis Roundup at (559) 324-2760.
Coalinga: The city offers places to stay cool at City Hall, the library and the senior center during regular business hours. The Coalinga Police Department's front lobby at 270 N. Sixth St. and the Coalinga Fire Department at 300 W. Elm St. are available as cooling centers 24 hours a day.
Sanger: City will open its annex building from noon to 6 p.m. when temperatures reach 105. Elderly residents also can use the Sanger Senior Center from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kings County: Plan for extreme heat includes directing people to the Hanford Mall and county library branches, among other places, when heat is too much to bear. Call (800) 649-5399 for details.
Hanford: Community cooling center at Longfield Center, 560 S. Douty St., open from 1 to 9 p.m.
Madera: Pan Am Community Center, 703 E. Sherwood Way, Madera, (559) 675-2095. Open weekdays 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Madera Rescue Mission, 332 Elm Ave., Madera, (559) 675-8321, open on an "as needed" basis.
Yosemite Lakes Park: Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway, Coarsegold, (559) 658-7466, Daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Visalia: City will open its transit center at 425 E. Oak Ave. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (559) 713-4266 for details.
Tulare County: For a list of cooling centers in other Tulare County communities, go to fblinks.com/cool