When the first 100-degree day hit Fresno this year in mid-May, it was only a taste of the sizzle to come. That “heat wave” lasted one day.
It really heated up in June, when Fresno saw a nine-day streak of temperatures at or above 100 degrees.
Now we’re in the midst of 14 consecutive days of 100-or-above temperatures since July 3. And the hot is not expected to suddenly stop. The period of mid-July through about the first days of August is the warmest time of the year.
So it raises the question: Could Fresno break its 21-day record of 100-degree temperatures?
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The longest heat wave in Fresno was recorded in 2005. It ran from July 23 to Aug. 12.
The National Weather Service in Hanford is not counting on that ’05 record being shattered. Its latest forecast calls for high temperatures of 103 Monday and 101 Tuesday. “Beyond that, it could continue,” said Cindy Bean, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Hanford office. The weather service says it expects Fresno’s high temperature to dip to 99 degrees Thursday and Friday, then go up to 100 Saturday.
There has been relief this month compared with last. According to weather service data, June daily temperatures in Fresno included highs of 107, 108, 109 and 110. There’s been one 107-degree day during the July heat wave.
Thirty-year data show that the San Joaquin Valley warms the most from mid-July til about mid-August. The days are longer and high pressure builds more. “Think about it as it being a mountain of (hot) air sitting over you,” Bean said. Now think about that hot air being pushed down onto the Valley floor.
And temperatures tend to stay mostly in the upper 90s. Of course, those numbers have been slightly higher in July’s heat wave.
July heat wave
Fresno’s high temperature
Source: National Weather Service