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Will record high of 114 be threatened by week’s end in Sacramento?

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It’s been hot, but not as hot as it is predicted to be on Thursday, when the temperature may hit 110 degrees.

A record of was set Monday when the temperature hit 107 degrees, breaking the previous mark of 106 set in 1988. The maximum is forecast to be 105 on Tuesday with summer officially arriving at 9:24 p.m.

Then, the temperature is expected to climb to 109 on Wednesday and 110 on Thursday. Thursday’s high temperature is not far from the hottest temperature ever recorded in Sacramento: a sweltering 114 degrees on July 17, 1925.

Back then, air conditioning had not been perfected. People slept in screened-in porches and families cooled sheets in the icebox before putting them on the bed at night.

Ice supply houses reported a 50 percent increase in sales. About 700 tons were used July 17, 1925, suppliers told The Bee.

“Thousands sought the grateful shade of the public parks and staid business men on the streets began to discard their coats before noon,” wrote The Bee reporter.

highgraphic
Hot temperatures to continue in the north state. National Weather Service

About 150 people telephoned the National Weather Service Office to inquire about how long the heat would last.

“It would take a temperature of fully 120 degrees in order to have a real oppressive influence on the people of Sacramento,” said The Sacramento Weather Office meteorologist N.R. Taylor with a stiff, if sweaty, upper lip.

Johnnie Powell, present-day National Weather Service meteorologist, has noted during previous heat waves that the record has stood simply because the perfect meteorological conditions have not often been present.

“We cool down so much,” he said. “It's hard to get above that 110 mark. It takes a total shut-off of wind. Then you need very high pressure and no cooling off at night for two or three days. That’s the perfect storm for a heat wave.”

Meanwhile, the manager of California's power grid, the Independent System Operator, said the state expects to have sufficient power to meet anticipated demands Tuesday and Wednesday.

The ISO also issued a “flex alert,” a call for voluntary conservation measures such as turning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher. The alert will run from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can be deadly - and sometimes tricky to recognize. Here's what you need to know to stay safe when the temperature skyrockets.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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