Weather

Sacramento starts dramatic cool down after record-setting heat

Matthew Johnson of Rancho Cordova, center, plays with his children, Logan Johnson, 2, left, and Fiona Johnson, 3, in the American River below Sunrise Boulevard while a late-September heat wave pushes thermometers into the high 90s as we approach the last days of summer on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Sacramento.
Matthew Johnson of Rancho Cordova, center, plays with his children, Logan Johnson, 2, left, and Fiona Johnson, 3, in the American River below Sunrise Boulevard while a late-September heat wave pushes thermometers into the high 90s as we approach the last days of summer on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Sacramento. rpench@sacbee.com

A late-summer scorcher produced a record-setting 102-degree afternoon Monday, just as fall and its cooler temperatures are right around the corner.

According to the National Weather Service, Monday’s high temperature peaked at 3:30 p.m. in downtown Sacramento, besting a record high of 101 degrees recorded in 2000. The high at Executive Airport on Monday was 98 degrees, just shy of the record of 101 degrees in 2000.

The temperature also reached 100 degrees Sunday, the first triple-digit day in more than a month. Before these back-to-back scorchers, Sacramento had avoided a 100-degree day since Aug. 14, when the temperature hit 103.

High pressure and the lack of a Delta breeze produced a very hot late-summer afternoon on Sunday, according to the NWS.

As one might expect, Monday’s heat had many Sacramento residents trying to take advantage of the last days of summer. Fall officially begins Thursday.

“We were pretty busy today,” said Zak Finney, a manager at American River Raft Rentals. “The last couple Mondays have been dead.”

Things were also busy at Sacramento State’s Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma. Deborah Adair said she and her husband were headed to the center to participate in an open-water swim training. Scores of boaters were also on the water.

Enjoy it now, because the heat won’t last.

“We are going to get a cold blast midweek … we get a taste of fall real quick,” said Mike Kochasic, a NWS meteorologist.

The NWS is predicting that a cold low-pressure system centered over the northern portion of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, will move deeper into the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday. The weather system will then continue south into Northern California on Wednesday.

The result, according to government weather forecasters, will be a 20-degree drop from Monday’s high temperatures. Look for a high of 80 degrees on Wednesday and a positively delightful 74 degrees on Thursday in Sacramento, 15 degrees lower than normal.

The change in the weather can’t come soon enough for California ski resorts, some of which were teased with an early season snow last week. At Squaw Valley Ski Resort, operators hope an early change in the weather will help them get a jump on snow-making operations. Liesl Kenney, a spokeswoman for the resort, said with plans to open between Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, they’ll gladly take the cooler weather, but snow would be even better.

The detailed, 7-day forecast from the NWS for the Sacramento region:

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 91. South wind 7 to 9 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. South wind 6 to 9 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Southwest wind 6 to 8 mph.

Wednesday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52. South wind 7 to 11 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 76. Light and variable wind becoming northwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 55.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 84.

Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 91.

Saturday night: Clear, with a low around 60.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 93.

Sunday night: Clear, with a low around 59.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 91.

Bee staff writer Bill Lindelof contributed.

Ed Fletcher: 916-321-1269, @NewsFletch

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