Christopher Winterfeldt / Merced Sun-Star

Stay cool, Sacramento. Temperatures may top out at 108 degrees in this heat spell.

Lengthy heat wave hits Sacramento area

Published: Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013 - 6:24 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 - 8:38 am

A humid heat wave is on the way, with temperatures topping out early next week at 107 degrees in Sacramento.

On Friday, the first of six days of 100-degree weather is expected to arrive with the building of a high pressure system. Daytime highs on the weekend are expected to hover around 103.

Thursday, the National Weather Service in Sacramento issued an excessive heat watch for Sunday through Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday's temperature is expected to reach a torrid 107 in Sacramento.

Over at the Folsom Zoo, efforts are made to make the animals a little more comfortable when prolonged stretches of 100-degree weather visit the Sacramento Valley.

For the animals, that means frozen rodents for the carnivores or ice blocks of carrots. For the human visitors, during July between 9 and 11 a.m., one paid admission earns one free admission of equal or lesser value.

"We are trying to encourage people to come earlier since later in the day the animals take a siesta to beat the heat," said Jocelyn Smeltzer, zoo supervisor.

Smeltzer said the zoo has water misters on the exhibits, and they freeze treats for the animals.

For bears, big rubber buckets are filled with water, carrots, apples and oranges and then frozen in the zoo walk-in freezer.

"The bears get to work at digging out the fruit and vegetables from the ice," she said. "Sometimes the bears drag them into their pool."

Cougars and tigers might get smaller frozen treats. Zoo personnel take gallon plastic jugs, fill them with water and add a bit of blood and herbs.

Once frozen, the plastic is cut away from the ice and a gallon "bloodsicle" is provided to the carnivore.

"They get the interesting smell of rosemary or thyme," Smeltzer said. "We are trying to make variety in their day since they are in these exhibits - but also get them something cool to play with."

At times, humanely euthanized mice, rats or quail are frozen and tossed into the pools of meat-eating zoo residents so the animals can dive for their lunch.

Smaller animals, such as rabbits, beat the heat by stretching out on ice.

The critters of the Folsom Zoo will need to chill for nearly a week.

"We are expecting a prolonged heat wave for Northern California at least through the middle of next week," said meteorologist Stefanie Henry. "We have this very strong, warm, high pressure system that was over the desert Southwest and now it is moving over Northern California."

The hot conditions are worsened by more humidity than usual in Sacramento. Instead of 40 percent during the day, humidity readings could be around 50 or 60 percent.

"It is going to be uncomfortable," Henry said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A humid heat wave is on the way, with temperatures topping out early next week at 107 degrees in Sacramento.

On Friday, the first of six days of 100-degree weather is expected to arrive with the building of a high pressure system. Daytime highs on the weekend are expected to hover around 103.

Thursday, the National Weather Service in Sacramento issued an excessive heat watch for Sunday through Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday's temperature is expected to reach a torrid 107 in Sacramento.

Over at the Folsom Zoo, efforts are made to make the animals a little more comfortable when prolonged stretches of 100-degree weather visit the Sacramento Valley.

For the animals, that means frozen rodents for the carnivores or ice blocks of carrots. For the human visitors, during July between 9 and 11 a.m., one paid admission earns one free admission of equal or lesser value.

"We are trying to encourage people to come earlier since later in the day the animals take a siesta to beat the heat," said Jocelyn Smeltzer, zoo supervisor.

Smeltzer said the zoo has water misters on the exhibits, and they freeze treats for the animals.

For bears, big rubber buckets are filled with water, carrots, apples and oranges and then frozen in the zoo walk-in freezer.

"The bears get to work at digging out the fruit and vegetables from the ice," she said. "Sometimes the bears drag them into their pool."

Cougars and tigers might get smaller frozen treats. Zoo personnel take gallon plastic jugs, fill them with water and add a bit of blood and herbs.

Once frozen, the plastic is cut away from the ice and a gallon "bloodsicle" is provided to the carnivore.

"They get the interesting smell of rosemary or thyme," Smeltzer said. "We are trying to make variety in their day since they are in these exhibits - but also get them something cool to play with."

At times, humanely euthanized mice, rats or quail are frozen and tossed into the pools of meat-eating zoo residents so the animals can dive for their lunch.

Smaller animals, such as rabbits, beat the heat by stretching out on ice.

The critters of the Folsom Zoo will need to chill for nearly a week.

"We are expecting a prolonged heat wave for Northern California at least through the middle of next week," said meteorologist Stefanie Henry. "We have this very strong, warm, high pressure system that was over the desert Southwest and now it is moving over Northern California."

The hot conditions are worsened by more humidity than usual in Sacramento. Instead of 40 percent during the day, humidity readings could be around 50 or 60 percent.

"It is going to be uncomfortable," Henry said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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