Temperatures are going down in the San Joaquin Valley, with Friday putting an end to a streak of 13 consecutive days with highs over 100 degrees and signaling relief from very poor air quality.
Meteorologist Scott Rowe of the National Weather Service in Hanford said Friday that the high pressure which lingered over the area, causing hot temperatures, is moving east and out of the Valley.
A weak storm system moving in from the Pacific is responsible for the heat relief. Cooler temperatures in the mid-90s will last for about seven days. Saturday’s high in Fresno is expected to reach 96 degrees, and Sunday’s high is forecast at 95, Rowe said.
So far this year, the weather service has recorded 33 days with a Fresno high temperature above 100 degrees.
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The weak storm system is not expected to bring any precipitation, but slightly windy conditions are expected.
“Most of the state will be experiencing it,” Rowe said.
High clouds should be expected, but Rowe said it will be mostly sunny, clear skies into next week.
Wildfire smoke lingers
In the coming days, the High Sierra will see dry weather and smoky conditions until nearby wildfires are put out, Rowe said.
The Goose Fire burning near Prather is expected to be fully contained by Monday. That fire has burned through 2,241 acres. On Friday morning, all evacuation and road closures were lifted.
Another fire burning in Madera County, the Grub Fire, was 50 percent contained with 85 acres burned Friday, according to Jamie Williams, Cal Fire spokeswoman.
Improving air quality
Friday’s air quality listed on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District website was unhealthy for sensitive groups in Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties. Kings and Madera counties had moderate air quality Friday.
Jaime Holt, chief communications officer for the air district, said Friday that the cooler weather system moving in is expected to help clear the Valley air of smoke from the recent wildfires, making way for improved air quality.
Holt said, “It’s keeping the smoke from hitting the Valley floor.”