Bye bye springtime weather and hello triple-digit temperatures.
Although the official start of summer isn’t until next week, the heat is headed our way and it’s coming with a vengeance. Starting Saturday, weather forecasters expect at least six straight days of 100-plus degrees. The National Weather Service says temperatures will range from 103 on Saturday, followed by 107 on Sunday and 111 on Monday and Tuesday. We won’t see much of a change on Wednesday at 109 and Thursday at 104, but on Friday we will finally level off at 100.
“We will see some overnight relief with temperatures in the 70s, but we are not seeing any major cool-down anytime soon,” said Dan Harty, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Hanford.
If you have lived in the Fresno area for any length of time, you know what it’s like to live with scorching temperatures. Still, city and health officials remind us that extreme heat is no joke and can potentially be life-threatening. So to stay cool and staff safe, here are a few reminders.
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1. Pay attention to the forecast. High temperatures can make pollution worse. Be aware of days when the air quality reaches unhealthy levels. Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high. Children, older adults and anyone with a chronic disease like asthma should be especially careful, says the American Lung Association in California.
2. Don’t have a working air conditioner? Find relief at a cooling center. Many Valley cities open community centers, usually once temperatures are forecast to hit 105 degrees. Local swimming pools will also be available. The city of Fresno announced Friday that it’ll open its cooling centers Saturday and Sunday.
3. The area’s rivers look very tempting these days, but be aware they are dangerous. Law enforcement officials have closed the Kings River from Pine Flat Dam through Laton Park. And Skaggs Bridge Park and Lost Lake Park along the San Joaquin River are closed until further notice. As inviting as the water may seem, the cold water can cause hypothermia to set in quickly and overwhelm even the strongest of swimmers, becoming too weak to escape. And don’t be fooled by warm or slow-moving water, there can be strong currents below the surface.
4. If you work outdoors, stay hydrated, take frequent rest breaks and wear appropriate clothing, including shirts and pants that are light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable. Experts recommend drinking at least one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Warning signs of heat stroke can include extremely high body temperature, 103 degrees or higher, unconsciousness, dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid pulse and throbbing headache.
5. Never, ever, leave a pet or a child in a parked car on a hot days. The inside of a car can heat up to dangerous levels. On an 80-degree day, the inside temperature of a car can reach 120 degrees within 10 minutes. Also, don’t forget California passed a law that allows someone to break your car’s window if they believe a pet is in immediate danger. At home, make sure your pets have plenty of fresh drinking water and shade.
6. Keep in contact with your friends, family and neighbors who may be at greater risk of heat illness, especially the elderly. Check on them at least twice a day and don’t wait for them to call for help, says the County of Fresno’s Department of Public Health.
Fresno city cooling centers
- Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, 760 Mayor Ave.
- Ted C. Wills Community Center, 770 N. San Pablo Ave.
- Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave.
- Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave.
- Romain Neighborhood Park, 745 N. First St.
The cooling centers will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and are open anytime the National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 105 degrees or more.