A pickup in the Delta breeze will significantly cool the Sacramento region and north state throughout the week, but it will worsen fire conditions.
A long run of high temperatures near or above 100 degrees is giving way to decreasing highs that will bottom out in the 80s later this week. The temperature shift is driven by an upper-level low-pressure system flowing into the Sacramento Valley from the coast.
This pressure system will cool most of the state, but the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley will be coolest.
“It doesn’t look like it should bring any precipitation to Sacramento at this point,” said Tom Dang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “But that does enhance the Delta breeze and that, more than anything else, helps us kind of cool down.”
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If it does rain, it won’t be until midweek.
The Delta breeze usually holds down temperatures in Sacramento at this time every year. Last year’s average high in the beginning of July was 92 degrees. This week’s cooldown just feels unusual because of the scorching triple-digit weather the region has seen this June, Dang said.
The breeze and lower temperatures will do little to inhibit fire danger, though, because the grass and trees are so dry that “they’re just like matchsticks,” said Scott McLean, a spokesman for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“Due to the drought, if there’s any kind of wind, it’s going to propel that fire even more,” McLean said. Lightning storms in the mountains are also increasing the risk of blazes.
The National Weather Service predicts that most of Northern California will see high temperatures drop below 100 degrees over the next few days. In the Sacramento region, the Delta breeze is expected to pick up through Monday night, gusting to 18 mph.
The high will dip to about 88 degrees Thursday before rebounding, hitting 95 degrees on Saturday.