Expect near-record highs in Fresno for first four days of June

Angelica Perez, 8, gets a cool dousing under a water bucket feature at Dickey Playground during the hot Tuesday afternoon.
Angelica Perez, 8, gets a cool dousing under a water bucket feature at Dickey Playground during the hot Tuesday afternoon. jwalker@fresnobee.com

The first week of June will broil Fresno locals with a heat wave of near-record highs, the National Weather Service in Hanford said.

Meanwhile, the hot weather has Valley air quality and sports officials as well as farmers on alert.

Wednesday and Thursday will approach the 1910 scorching record of 105 with highs of 103. The heat wave will peak Friday with a high of 104, and drop – barely – to a high of 103 on Saturday. The highs will drop to 99 and 95 at the beginning of the second week of June.

During this heat wave, Fresno’s temperatures will be within a few degrees of the record highs of 105 to 107 degrees for the first week of June, meteorologist Brian Ochs said.

“People won’t be used to it getting 105 degrees yet, and since we are looking at near-record highs, that might become an issue,” Ochs said. “With record highs going back to 1887, this is the warmest weather we’ve seen in quite some time in early June.”

However, an early heat wave does not necessarily indicate a hotter summer, because the arrival of heat waves depends on the season, meteorologist Jim Dudley said.

While records for heat waves in the first week of June were generally set over a century ago, on average the first 100-degree day in Fresno is June 1. Friday’s high of 98 degrees just missed. Dudley said this means Fresno’s weather is right on track.

Ochs recommended drinking plenty of water and staying indoors or limiting activities outdoors whenever possible from 11 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., the hottest part of the day.

Even though it’s heating up, some kids don’t want to stay indoors.

Splash parks are the best compromise for kids who want to play outside and parents who want to keep them out of the heat, Fresno mom Serena Garcia said. She admitted that even though she seldom plans on playing in the splash park, she’ll get in anyway once it gets hot enough.

Tracy Ackles, another mother who lives nearby, said Dickey Park is free and more fun than big water parks like the Island Waterpark.

Her daughter, Tracy, said lots of kids turned out to play at the splash park on Monday. “My cousin was here and she kept on dragging me in the water.”

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District officials expect the air quality this week to be moderate. The end of the week could bring unhealthy air for sensitive groups like children, seniors and people with chronic respiratory diseases.

Air district spokeswoman Heather Heinks said this week is the start of ozone season. Ozone forms in heat and sunlight, combining oxides of nitrogen from fuel combustion and reactive organic gases from paint, gasoline and dairies. It damages skin and eyes, triggers heart disease, leads to lung problems such as asthma and contributes to premature death.

Heinks suggested people carpool, take their lunch to work, avoid drive-thrus, water their plants in the early morning and stop idling their vehicles, especially in front of schools.

“All those things produce unnecessary emissions that will affect us this week and create ozone,” she said.

Spikes in ozone levels usually happen between 2 and 5 p.m., Heinks said, but the Valley doesn’t typically get the worst levels until late summer.

That means now is the time for people to change habits that affect pollution, she said. Residents can sign up for air quality updates at Valleyair.org/raan.

The California State Track and Field Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High in Clovis. Heinks said athletic organizations should pay attention to the air quality updates, and athletes should stay hydrated and find shade. Those with respiratory issues should follow their doctor’s orders.

California Interscholastic Federation officials announced Tuesday afternoon that they are working with Clovis Unified and meet management to modify the schedule on both days, due to the projected high temperatures. A new schedule will be announced Wednesday by 5 p.m.

State labor department officials reminded employers that in high heat advisories, it is important to keep their outdoor workers safe from heat-related illness.

California has a strict policy to prevent heat illnesses that includes providing access to shade, making fresh drinking water available, training supervisors and having a plan for how to deal with the onset of heat illness.

“What you want to do is make sure people rest in the shade and drink water,” said Peter Melton, spokesman for the Department of Industrial Relations. “If they start to get sick, it is late in the game.”

Melton also reminded employers that investigators with the Department of Occupational Safety Health Programs, or Cal/OSHA, will be visiting work sites to make sure workers are being protected.

Fresno cooling center facilities will not open until the weather service in Hanford forecasts 105-degree days, said Steve Primavera, a Fresno recreation supervisor. On those triple-digit days, the centers will be open from noon to 8 p.m.

Cooling stations are at the Ted C. Wills Community Center, Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, Mosqueda Community Center, Pinedale Community Center and Romain Neighborhood Park.

JoAnna Kroeker: 559-441-6247, @jobethkroeker Bee staff writers Andrea Castillo and Robert Rodriguez contributed to this story.