Valley could see long spell of triple-digit days

The Fresno BeeJune 30, 2014 

Expect daytime temperatures to remain at 100 degrees or hotter in Fresno for at least eight days -- perhaps even two weeks.

The hottest foreseeable spike expected within that National Weather Service prediction is today, with a high of 108 degrees, said meteorologist Jeff Barlow.

On Monday, the Fresno high was 106 degrees.

The onset of sizzling sun has opened cooling centers and prompted public safety warnings throughout the region.

A high pressure system is to blame for the heat wave, which will also create a "very stagnant air mass -- expect air quality to decrease through time," Barlow said.

Generally, temperatures are in the upper 90s this time of the year, he said.

To break a hot streak record set in 2005, Fresno has to have more than 21 consecutive days with temperatures at 100 degrees or hotter, Barlow said.

So far in 2014, Fresno has had five 100-degree-or-hotter days, Barlow said Monday. The hottest of those five days was June 9, which reached 110 degrees.

The most 100-degree-or-hotter days Fresno ever experienced was 63 days in 1984. The average is 36, Barlow said.

Currently, the climate prediction center is showing "well above normal temperatures" through July 14, he said.

Staying cool and safe

Chad Fitzgerald, life safety enforcement manager for the Clovis Police Department, offered some tips to stay cool and safe.

Among them: Stay hydrated, slow down, keep activity to the morning, wear light colors, and check on friends and family -- especially those surviving on a low-income who may not have an adequate home cooling system.

And be aware of signs of dehydration and heat stroke, Fitzgerald said, like feeling dizzy, light-headed, fatigued or nauseated.

Barlow added this slogan: "Watch the backseat, beat the heat" -- referring to making sure children and pets are not left alone in parked cars, which can quickly heat up to fatal temperatures.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also has tips to keep pets safe in the heat. Along with keeping animals out of hot parked cars, keep them in the shade, trim bushy winter coats, and recognize warning signs of overheating. For more information, see aspca.org/pet-care/hot-weather-tips.

Cooling centers

As temperatures skyrocket this week above 100 degrees, many Valley cities will provide refuge in cooling centers. The following are places where people can get out of the heat:

Cooling centers in Fresno are open from noon to 8 p.m. at the following 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.

Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave.

In Clovis, the Sierra Vista Mall, 1050 Shaw Ave., serves as a cooling center from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday, it's open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday it's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Visalia, the Transit Center, 425 E. Oak Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In Hanford, the Longfield Center, 560 S. Douty St., will open from 1 to 9 p.m.

In Chowchilla, the Chowchilla Senior Center, 820 W. Robertson Blvd., is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In Madera, the following centers are available. Call the sheriff's office of emergency services at (559) 675-7770 for information about openings.

Madera Rescue Mission, 332 Elm St.

Frank Bergon Senior Center, 238 S. D St., Madera 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pan Am Community Center, 703 E. Sherwood Way, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ranchos/Hills Senior Center, 37339 Berkshire Drive, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Other centers in eastern Madera County:

Coarsegold Community Center, 35540 Highway 41, Coarsegold, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Oakhurst Sierra Senior Center, 49111 Cinder Lane, Oakhurst, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway, Coarsegold, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

North Fork Grace Community Church, 56442 Road 200, North Fork, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, cgeorge@fresnobee.com or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.

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