Valley scorch­ing heat ap­proach­ing record

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY CAR­MEN GE­ORGE cge­[email protected]­nobee.com

Vis­i­tors to a Fresno farm­ers mar­ket Sat­ur­day con­jured up blis­ter­ing im­ages in their minds to de­scribe the cen­tral San Joaquin Valley’s no­to­ri­ous sum­mer heat.

Menopause “hot flashes” and open­ing an oven while bak­ing were among the harsh­est com­par­isons.

Valley tem­per­a­tures are only go­ing to get hot­ter, ex­pected to peak at 108 de­grees Sun­day, then drop to a high of around 104 in some places Mon­day. Tem­per­a­tures in Fresno on

Sat­ur­day rose to 104 de­grees as of 4 p.m., the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ported.

Fresno area tem­per­a­tures Sun­day won’t be far from a 110-de­gree record high for July 28, set in 1980.

“These are hot tem­per­a­tures that are com­ing in. These are not nor­mal,” said me­te­o­rol­o­gist Jim Andersen with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice at Han­ford. “We are only two de­grees from a record that was set in 1980.”

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is­sued ex­ces­sive heat warn­ings for the re­gion. They were in ef­fect Sat­ur­day and pick up again Sun­day un­til 8 p.m. The warn­ing down­grades to an ex­ces­sive heat ad­vi­sory Mon­day.

These ris­ing tem­per­a­tures come just a few days af­ter some Valley lo­ca­tions re­ceived a lit­tle light rain­fall and higher hu­mid­ity. Show­ers aren’t ex­pected to re­turn to the area this com­ing week.

Valley tem­per­a­tures will be in

the up­per 90s Tues­day on­ward, ex­pected to climb back into the 100s next week­end, Andersen said. Thurs­day, with a pro­jected high near 98 de­grees, will likely be the coolest day of the week.

The hot tem­per­a­tures are re­lated to a high pres­sure sys­tem over the Four Cor­ners re­gion be­tween New Mex­ico and Ari­zona, Andersen said, which is mov­ing slightly west­ward.

Re­mem­ber the win­ter’s record Sierra Ne­vada snow­fall, and a hope that might have spared the Valley from a scorch­ing sum­mer?

“It’s kind of like the stock mar­ket,” Andersen said of the weather. “The pre­vi­ous out­comes don’t al­ways fore­tell the fu­ture. But you know we are go­ing to get hot.”

Valley cool­ing cen­ters opened last week to help those look­ing for a place to es­cape the heat.

Andersen shared some re­minders for stay­ing safe in the heat: Stay hy­drated by drink­ing lots of wa­ter, stay in cooler en­vi­ron­ments in­doors if pos­si­ble – in­clud­ing free Valley cool­ing cen­ters – and don’t leave pets or peo­ple in en­closed ve­hi­cles, even for short amounts of time, which can turn deadly very quickly.

VALLEY RES­I­DENTS IN THE HEAT

To help those suf­fer­ing from sum­mer sun, Donna Mott, owner of Ooh De Lolli, reg­u­larly passes out free “cool-off pops” – just ice on a stick – in ad­di­tion to fla­vored pops she sells at the the Vine­yard Farm­ers Mar­ket at Black­stone and Shaw av­enues.

“Peo­ple put them on their back and their neck,” Mott said. “I’ve seen peo­ple put them un­der their armpit, in their bra. All those things.”

She also sells ice pops for dogs made of tofu and peanut but­ter, frozen on pep­per­oni sticks.

It was al­ready hot enough by late Sat­ur­day morn­ing for Mott to pe­ri­od­i­cally mist her­self with a spray bot­tle. She talked about how much she ad­mires farm­ers who have to work in more heat and di­rect sun.

Sit­ting a few booths away was farmer John Warner of Madera’s Whole Sys­tems Agri­cul­ture, who was sell­ing cut flow­ers plus vegetable and herb plants.

This has been a “tougher year than most” for his crops. He said some early spring heat that his plants weren’t ready for was es­pe­cially harm­ful.

The harsh sum­mer sun poses other chal­lenges for farm­ers, Warner said, in­clud­ing over-ir­ri­ga­tion – “the roots of the plants can’t breathe,” – heat­lov­ing pests, and it be­ing too hot for bees and other help­ful pol­li­na­tors to fly.

As for late Sat­ur­day morn­ing in Fresno: “We’re start­ing to get the sweat run­ning down your back a lit­tle bit. You start to feel the heat, but I haven’t heard any com­plaints.” VIDEO See dif­fer­ent ways Fres­nans are es­cap­ing the heat, fres­nobee.com/news/lo­cal

CRAIG KOHLRUSS ck­[email protected]­nobee.com

Vis­i­tors pre­pare to be doused with wa­ter at the top of the play struc­ture in Ohana Bay at Is­land Water­park in Fresno on Sat­ur­day. The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is­sued ex­ces­sive heat warn­ings as the tem­per­a­ture rose to 104 de­grees and is ex­pected to peak at 108 on Sun­day.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS ck­[email protected]­nobee.com

Sis­ters Avery, left, 6, and Delilah Chapa, 4, of Fresno en­joy popsicles at the Vine­yard Farm­ers Mar­ket in Fresno on Sat­ur­day.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS ck­[email protected]­nobee.com

Ven­dors and cus­tomers en­joy a bit of shade from the hot sunshine be­neath the large ar­bor at the Vine­yard Farm­ers Mar­ket in Fresno on Sat­ur­day.

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