In 2010, globally the hottest year on record, a story in The Bee detailed how Central Valley residents were thankfully enjoying cooler weather than the rest of the country. The Central Valley's heat-loving tomatoes and melons made a late appearance that year.
Things have flipped.
The National Weather Service recorded a high of 103 about 5:45 p.m. in downtown Sacramento on Friday breaking the previous record of 102 set in 1883 and predicted a record-breaking high of 105 for today. Temperatures at Sacramento Executive Airport reached a record high of 104, shattering 1973's high of 101 degrees.
Other places in the country, however, were a bit cooler than average.
"We don't have the El Niño cooling this year," said Holly Osborne, a meteorologist at the Sacramento National Weather Service.
High pressure systems in California and low pressure systems in the East and Midwest are stronger than normal, Osborne said. The abnormal systems are what caused record-breaking May snowfalls in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin last month. Arkansas residents also recently experienced their first May snow in history.
Bryan Weare, a professor of meteorology at UC Davis, said that although the weather patterns have been unusual, there is no cause for alarm.
"Weird things happen. It's not a hard and fast rule, but the East Coast and the West Coast tend to be opposite each other," said Weare, explaining that flip-flop between the West and East is well understood in meteorology. "A week ago, it was the opposite: We were really cool and it was really hot on the East Coast. It happens frequently. That's just the way weather works."
Central Valley residents shouldn't worry about the record-breaking heat sticking around for long. The Delta breeze a mix of low marine clouds and strong west winds keeps the area cool.
"Our weather would be totally different if we didn't have the Delta," Osborne said. "Up near Redding might stay in the 100s, but by Monday we'll cool down anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees into the 80s."
The hottest spot in Northern California on Friday was Red Bluff, where the mercury reached 111 degrees.
A look at temperatures across the nation Friday:
Sacramento: High of 103
(Historical average, 85).
Dallas: High of 84
(Historical average, 90).
Atlanta: High of 82
(Historical average, 95).
Chicago: High of 65
(Historical average, 77).
Detroit: High of 63
(Historical average, 76).
Boston: High of 57
(Historical average, 73).
Source: National Weather Service
Call The Bee's Ellen Le, (916) 321-1031.