The first day of summer brought a wall of heat to the Valley and is expected to keep temperatures near 105 today, forecasters say.
But the worst of the heat will be short-lived as many Valley locations are expected to start dropping below the century mark by Thursday.
Fresno hit a high of 105 on Tuesday, triggering the opening of cooling centers throughout the Valley.
In Fresno, cooling centers are available at the Frank H. Ball Community Center, Pinedale Neighborhood Center, Mosqueda Community Center and Ted C. Wills Community Center. Clovis is using Sierra Vista Mall as its cooling center site.
Other Valley communities also opened cooling centers Tuesday and were expected to keep them open at least through today.
In most communities, cooling centers are available on days when temperatures reach 105 degrees. But Fresno County officials say they do not open cooling centers until the heat index – a combination of heat and humidity – reaches 110 degrees, said Tim Casagrande, Fresno County's director of environmental health.
The extreme heat doesn't come without some perks – in Fresno, residents can use a Fresno Area Express bus for free if they are going to a cooling center. Also, Fresno city pools are free when the temperature hits or exceeds 105.
The pools at Airways, the Mosqueda Center and Romain Playground were open Tuesday. Pools at Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center and Mary Ella Brown Center are expected to open Thursday.
But residents don't start flocking to cooling centers until severe heat lasts for many days, said Heather Heinks, a Fresno city spokeswoman.
"When you see five or six days in a row of triple-digit heat then we will see 200 people a day between all the sites," she said.
That type of extended heat wave is not in the immediate forecast.
"It will be under 100 for a little while with a cooling trend into the weekend before slowly climbing back to the century mark in the middle of next week," said Carlos Molina, a National Weather Service meteorologist.