High temperatures, dew points will make heat wave sticky

06/29/2013 12:00 AM

05/22/2014 8:59 AM

It's going to be hot today through Wednesday, and it's not going to be a dry heat.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the high for the day in downtown Sacramento was 105, according to the National Weather Service. But rains earlier in the week boosted the humidity, making it more uncomfortable than a typical 100-plus day in the Valley.

Lincoln was one of the hottest spots in the Sacramento area, with a high of 107 degrees, while farther north, Red Bluff topped out at 111 and Redding at 108, said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster with the weather service.

Similar temperatures are forecast for today, and it will continue to be muggy.

"It's not a Gulf Coast kind of humidity," Swanberg said, but with dew points in the 50s in the Sacramento area, instead of the typical 30s and 40s, he said, it feels sticky.

Without the Delta breeze to provide relief, overnight low temperatures are expected to be in the low 70s.

Highs today through Wednesday are expected to remain in triple digits. Temperatures are projected to peak at 108 in the Sacramento area and around 109 in Redding during the heat wave.

A slight chance of thunderstorms in the Lake Tahoe area is forecast for Sunday through Tuesday.

Although fire danger remains high, Swanberg said winds aren't expected to accompany this hot spell.

The weather service has issued an "excessive heat watch," warning of dangerous heat Sunday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. High temperatures and an increase in humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible, according to the National Weather Service.

People are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and stay out of the sun.

Officials also encourage people to check on relatives and neighbors, as well as pets and livestock, to make sure they are adequately protected from the heat.

Air-conditioned public venues, such as shopping malls and libraries, can be havens for people who lack adequate home cooling systems.

The heat poses a risk for animals, too, leading the Sacramento SPCA to issue tips for keeping pets safe:

Make sure pets have access to fresh, cold water.

Limit outdoor playtime to the necessary walks pets need.

Ensure that pets, while outdoors, have access to shade or other cooling options, such as play pools filled with cold water.

Because pavement will be hot, try not to linger unnecessarily on the asphalt.

Know the signs of heat stroke and provide immediate relief if pets exhibit excessive panting, salivation or drooling, vomiting, an anxious or staring expression, fast pulse and high body temperature.

If a dog exhibits any of these signs, the SPCA recommends immediately soaking them in cool water. Simply getting their coat wet is not enough and can work to trap the heat in their coat rather than relieve it. If these measures don't relieve the pet's symptoms, immediately call a veterinarian.

The SPCA announced Friday that it was putting up additional shade structures at its Sacramento shelter, along with play pools with cold water to help dogs in its care weather the heat.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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