After a week of temperatures in the 90s, a heat wave is once again gripping the central San Joaquin Valley.
High temperatures in the 90s ended Friday; Fresno topped out at 103 degrees Saturday, said Scott Rowe, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. Sunday was expected to be the hottest day of the latest heat wave, as the temperature topped out at 107 degrees.
The average high temperature for this time of year is 98, Rowe said. While Sunday was well above that, the high didn’t come close to breaking the record of 112 degrees, set in 1933.
To escape the heat, some families flocked to the San Joaquin River to cool off. Several were at Wildwood Native Park just east of Highway 41.
“It’s cold,” exclaimed Ayson Channita, 10, climbing out of the water where his family had set up for an afternoon barbecue.
The water, which flows from Friant Dam, was about 57 degrees as it entered the river.
After a few minutes getting dry sitting beside the river, the heat coaxed Ayson back in to splash around with his family.
Vanna Channita recently returned to Fresno from Colorado, and it was her first time at the river.
“It’s supposed to be 108 degrees today,” she said. “Plus, the kids go back to school tomorrow, so we came out for the cold water.”
The kids took turns climbing onto a tree stump just below the water level to jump into the deeper water.
It’s supposed to be 108 degrees today. Plus, the kids go back to school tomorrow, so we came out for the cold water.
Others had a different option to cool off.
Ampersand is an ice cream parlor next to Fresno High School that is owned by Amelia and Jeff Bennett. The cool dessert proved a good draw on the hot day.
“Ice cream is always good when it’s hot, and sorbet is just fresh fruit, sugar and water – so it’s the best,” Jeff Bennett said.
Kinsey Chikuma on Sunday paid her second visit to the ice cream parlor. She and her family are from Lakewood.
Last time I was here I got the lemon sorbet. This time I got raspberry.
“My grandfather lives in a retirement home here, and we heard about this place from good Yelp reviews,” Chikuma said. “Last time I was here I got the lemon sorbet. This time I got raspberry.”
Jeff Bennett said that business tends to be slower on really hot days, but the shop has more people coming in during the summer months than at other times during the year.
Monday is expected to be 102 degrees, which is lower than the record of 109 degrees set in 1920. The rest of the week should remain in the low 100s – five to 10 degrees above average, Rowe said.
Another break in triple digits is expected by the weekend, with Saturday predicted to be 99 degrees.
There could be lightning – not too friendly for firefighters.
Scott Rowe, meteorologist with the Nation Weather Service
No rainfall is expected in Fresno anytime soon, but there is a slight chance of thunderstorms in the Sierra Nevada on Friday, Rowe said.
“With thunderstorms, there’s lightning,” Rowe said. “If there’s no precipitation that comes with it, there could be lightning – not too friendly for firefighters” should a brush fire result.