What is a high pressure system?
Heat records were shattered across the Central Valley and Northern California on Saturday – and the unseasonably warm weather is expected to continue for at least the next week.
Sacramento, Modesto, Stockton, Red Bluff and Redding all experienced their hottest Feb. 3 on record, according to the National Weather Service, with temperatures up to six degrees higher than the cities had previously seen on the date.
The thermometer reached 75 degrees Fahrenheit in downtown Sacramento and 74 degrees at the executive airport, four to five degrees hotter than has ever previously been recorded.
Red Bluff soared to 81 degrees, besting a 13-year-old record by five degrees. And Modesto, at a high of 73 degrees, felled a record temperature dating to 2000.
Karl Swanberg, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the warm weather is expected to continue through at least next Friday and there may even be more heat records.
“We’re in a ridging pattern right now,” he said, with a high-pressure system deflecting precipitation. “It’s setting up a bit of a block on the West Coast, and we’re in the warm and dry air.”
So will this February ever return to normal: cold and wet? Perhaps eventually.
“It will rain again,” Swanberg said.
How hot was it?
Temperature records set Saturday for Feb. 3:
▪ Sacramento downtown: 75 (previous high of 71 set in 2009)
▪ Sacramento Executive Airport: 74 (previous high of 69 set in 2015)
▪ Redding Airport: 79 (previous high of 78 set in 2005)
▪ Red Bluff: 81 (previous high of 76 set in 2005)
▪ Stockton: 76 (previous high of 70 set in 2009)
▪ Modesto: 73 (previous high of 71 set in 2000)
Source: National Weather Service