Sunday marked the coolest day in Fresno in about a month, ending a record-breaking 30-day streak of triple-digit temperatures.
A little over a week ago, Fresno broke the previous record set in 2005 of 21 consecutive days at or over 100 degrees, with July 18 this year being the hottest day, reaching 108 degrees.
The high at 5 p.m. Sunday was 99 degrees, and while the double-digit readings are predicted to continue Monday, the cooler temperatures are nothing but a brief detour from the norm of the past month, said David Spector, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
Spector said while temperatures can creep up after 6 p.m., it was “highly unlikely” that would happen Sunday.
By Tuesday, temperatures 5 to 8 degrees above average could arrive once again, said Jim Bagnall, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford.
Cindy Bean, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Hanford, said the drop in temperature is partially a combination of the smoke being produced by the nearly 20 active fires ravaging through California and a weather system moving through the Valley.
The smoke’s presence is bittersweet. While it may be cooling Valley’s temperatures, its also damaging its air quality.
An air quality alert issued by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in July due to the smoke levels was extended into August and could remain in effect until the fires are put out.
Areas within Yosemite National Park like Wawona and Yosemite Valley have been closed indefinitely due to the impending danger of the Ferguson Fire and the hazardous air quality it has created near the park. The blaze has reached nearly 90,000 acres since it began on July 13.
While Fresno’s stretch of 30 days may seem like a long time, it’s not even the longest stretch in the Central Valley, said Spector. That honor belongs to Bakersfield, which went 50 straight days with triple-digit temperatures.
Spector said Fresno’s stretch is significant in the sense that it showcases the impact that the state’s drought can have on the weather.
“A lot of this is just because we’ve been so dry. The lack of rain has really played a role in the heat here,” Spector said.
Fire officials are estimating they will have the fire completely contained by Aug. 15. The cause of the fire, which has destroyed 10 structures, is still unknown. Two firefighters have died fighting the blaze.