Temperatures in the Sacramento area exceeded 100 degrees Tuesday, beginning what meteorologists say will be a four-day run of triple-digit temperatures.
"If this run goes to four days, it'll be the longest run that Sacramento has had in three years," said Johnnie Powell, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Temperatures in Sacramento peaked Tuesday at 102 degrees at 5:05 p.m., and the high is expected to hit 105 degrees today, according to the National Weather Service. In Redding and Red Bluff, the predicted highs are between 108 and 111 degrees.
The heat is a result of a high-pressure system moving westward from Arizona and Utah, the weather service said.
In Sacramento, the highs typically peak between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. because the area warms throughout the day due to a lack of marine air.
According to the National Weather Service, residents can hope for the return of the Delta breeze this weekend, cooling the region back into the 90s.
Despite the projected heat wave, Sacramento County's Health Department said cooler nights should prevent health complications for the elderly and others vulnerable to prolonged heat.
"One of our biggest concerns is when the temperatures do not drop at night. That can be very stressful on the body," said spokeswoman Laura McCasland. This week, nighttime temperatures are expected to drop more than 30 degrees, into the 60s.
The health department advises residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day (3 to 6 p.m.) and wear sunscreen. The department says the city and county will open "cooling centers" in the event of a serious heat emergency.
Meanwhile, California State Fair officials said Cal Expo is ready to deal with the heat wave when the fair opens Thursday.
"There is a considerable amount of shade throughout the fair," said Brian May, deputy general manager of the fair. "We also have extensive air-conditioned exhibits and misting systems set up for people to enjoy."
Fair officials are suggesting that visitors take advantage of the indoor air-conditioned exhibits during the hotter parts of the day before spending time at the outdoor exhibits later in the day, once it has cooled down. Carnival guests should also be advised that fair rides with metal seats exposed to the direct sun may be shut down if they get too hot.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is offering "cooling and energy-saving tips."
"The best thing to do is to keep your house or building from heating up in the first place," said Chris Capra, public information specialist for SMUD.
To achieve this, Capra suggests opening windows but closing the drapes in the morning, and opting for cold foods such as salads and sandwiches rather than cooking.
Despite all the warnings, however, some local residents said Tuesday they like the return of hot weather. Maxwell Warmington said he's made minor adjustments to his regular schedule.
"I try to start work earlier in the morning so I can get done before it gets too hot," said Warmington. "But this heat has been pretty enjoyable. I'm enjoying it."