The heat wave gripping the Valley is setting no records – though you might wonder – but it is stressing the electric grid, prompting state power managers to urge residents to conserve during the afternoon and evening Thursday.
Wednesday’s high temperature in Fresno hit 109, short of the record 113 for the date set in 1933. The high Thursday and Friday is expected to hit 107, the National Weather Service said, also short of the records of 110 and 113 for those dates.
But it was hot enough to prompt Old Town Clovis to cancel its Friday night farmers market for the first time in 27 years. And the heat is contributing to unhealthy air across the Valley.
Meteorologist Christine Riley with the National Weather Service in Hanford said Wednesday’s triple digit temperatures were the hottest of the year so far, quickly rising throughout the day. Temperatures are likely to stay above 100 through the middle of next week, she said.
High pressure is keeping temperatures above 100 for a fifth day in the Valley, she said.
As the Valley heats up, the High Sierra is seeing isolated showers. Riley said the southern and central portions of the Sierra Nevada are witnessing strong thunderstorms, occurring in the afternoons and early mornings through Sunday.
A statewide Flex Alert is in effect through Thursday, with the state power grid operator encouraging consumers to conserve electricity during peak times from 2 to 9 p.m.
The California Independent System Operator announced that summer temperatures are bringing an increase in power demand, but must be monitored for efficient power consumption.
Power imports are being limited due to high temperatures in neighboring states, the California ISO said.