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Fresno ties a record for heat, and no relief is coming anytime soon

Fresno Chaffee Zoo animals keep cool in the sweltering heat

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Executive Director Scott Barton talks about ways the zoo’s residents are kept comfortable as possible during heat waves such as what the Valley is experiencing during the long, hot summer.
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Fresno Chaffee Zoo Executive Director Scott Barton talks about ways the zoo’s residents are kept comfortable as possible during heat waves such as what the Valley is experiencing during the long, hot summer.

Fresno tied a heat record that had stood for more than a century when the thermometer topped out at 109 degrees Tuesday.

The previous all-time high for Aug. 29 was 109, set in 1915, the National Weather Service said. A new record-high overnight low also was set – 80 degrees, exceeding the record high minimum for the date of 76, also set in 1915.

New records were also set in Hanford, where the high was 112, and in Madera, where the high was 108. The old record for both cities was 106, set in 2007.

There will be slight relief Wednesday and Thursday when a storm system moves through the Pacific Northwest. That development will send winds from the Pacific toward California, and minor cooling with occur. No records are expected to be broken, and Fresno will see its high drop to 103 degrees Wednesday and 105 on Thursday.

But then the heat ramps back up Friday and into the Labor Day weekend. Highs will range from 106 to 110 degrees as the high pressure responsible for the hot weather stays in place.

At least two central San Joaquin Valley high schools have delayed the start of its Friday night football game because of the forecast.

Steven Annema, athletic director at Central Valley Christian in Visalia, said the school will start its junior varsity and varsity home games against Bakersfield Christian one hour later than scheduled, at 6 p.m. and 8:15.

San Joaquin Memorial said its games against Lemoore High School would start at 6 p.m. for junior varsity and 8 p.m. for varsity. That’s an hour later for JV and a half-hour later for varsity players.

Air quality worsens

The stagnant atmosphere, coupled with the numerous wildfires burning in the Sierra nearby, are making for poor air quality. Smoke emissions remain trapped in the Valley air basin and spikes in ozone and particulates can occur, especially in afternoon hours.

“The businesses and residents of the Valley have done so much to reduce summertime pollution that it is unfortunate when these wildfires overwhelm that great work,” stated Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “However, the public needs to be advised that while these fires burn and bring smoke into the Valley, they need to take the appropriate steps to protect their health.”

The key advice: Stay indoors, especially if you have existing respiratory conditions.

Current heat wave

As measured in Fresno:

Aug. 25 – 101 degrees

Aug. 26 – 105

Aug. 27 – 106

Aug. 28 – 109 (record)

Aug. 29 – 109

Source: National Weather Service

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