Not to state the obvious, but it’s hot — like, wake-up-and-sweat-down-the-small-of-your-back, stay-indoors-until-the-sun-goes-down hot.
It’s the kind of heat that seems like it will never end.
It will, rest assured. Just not any time soon.
On Friday, Fresno broke the record of consecutive days with triple digit heat. That’s 22 days, starting July 6.
The previous record of 21 days was set in 2005.
And if predictions from the National Weather Service hold, Fresno will keep adding to the record well into next week. Temperatures are predicted to be in the triple digits until Aug. 2 at least, with a high of 105 on Monday.
Temperatures over the past 22 days have been well above the historical average. But even with the current heat wave, the city has yet to to reach its average allotment of triple-digit heat for the summer. Fresno averages about 36 days of triple-digit heat each summer, with a record of 63 days at 100-plus set in 1984.
A heat advisory issued by the weather service has been extended through Saturday. There was also an air quality alert issued for the entire San Joaquin Valley due to the Ferguson Fire, which is still burning near Yosemite National Park. That alert will be in place until the fire is extinguished.
What we are experiencing is a prolonged period of extreme heat, as defined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That can lead to serious health risks.
Emergency calls to American Ambulance go up every summer, and this record-breaking heat wave is no exception.
“In June and July we have seen an increase in the number of calls that we are responding to from people who are calling with heat-related injuries,” says Steve Melander, chief operations officer at American Ambulance that serves Fresno County.
The heat can trigger asthma attacks on its own, but in combination with particle pollution from the Ferguson Fire, airways can be irritated and spasm, says Dr. Jain Vipul, medical director of the chronic lung disease program at Community Regional Medical Center and executive vice chief of medicine at UCSF Fresno.
“All the air pipes that lead the air into the lungs are programmed to close up when they sense something that shouldn’t be going into the lungs.”
The Fresno County Department of Public Health keeps tabs on hospital and ambulance services, and so far this is an ordinary summer.
Still, David Pomaville, the director of the health department, reminds people to take precautions to avoid having a heat-related health emergency by staying out of direct sunlight, wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing, drinking two to four cups of water an hour, avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks, and rescheduling activities to earlier or later times of the day.
And Pomaville said visiting the nearest cooling center is an option to escape the heat.
For more information about heat safety, including a list of cooling center locations visit FCDPH.org.