Sacramento is projected to experience record temperatures over Labor Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service forecasts that Thursday will top out at 103 degrees, Friday will reach 109 and Saturday. Sunday and Monday will cool off a bit with highs of 105 and 101, respectively.
The heat wave will break new records for Sacramento, which have never recorded a high greater than 109 in September, the weather service reports.
“While it’s not uncommon to see 100 degrees over the summer, it is uncommon to see heat of this magnitude in the late August and early September time frame,” said Michelle Mead, weather service spokeswoman. California officials have issued a Flex Alert for Friday afternoon, asking state residents to reduce their electricity use between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m., to reduce stress on the state’s electricity distribution grid.
The California Independent System Operator Corporation reports it expects a record demand for energy around the state, and is urging people especially to set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher, to turn off unnecessary lights, and to use major appliances in the morning rather than in the afternoon.
For more electricity conservation tips, go to www.flexalert.org/save-energy.
Officials said the state could turn to local rotating outages if the electrical conveyance system is put under too much pressure.
The heat wave is building up over much of California and the West, Mead said.
The event is projected to last at least until Labor Day, if not longer. One model anticipates the heat continuing until Sept. 7.
The city of Sacramento’s Office of Emergency Services reports it and the county are opening a temporary cooling center Friday through the weekend. Hart Senior Center in midtown will be open Thursday through at least Monday, the city says. The center is at 27th and I streets, and will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Parks staff and volunteers will be overseeing.
Other cooling centers can be found by calling 211, a health and human service referral hotline. The city also suggests:
▪ Check on your elderly neighbors.
▪ Never leave children or pets in cars.
▪ Drink plenty of water and avoid very cold drinks.
▪ Take cool showers to lower your body temperature.
▪ Limit your exposure to the sun – stay indoors where it is air-conditioned or go a public place that is air conditioned.
Because of the excessive heat warnings, the city of Roseville is extending hours at the Downtown Roseville Library from Thursday through Monday to serve as a cooling center. The Downtown Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. those days.
The increasing heat also brings warnings of potential fire dangers. Two region fires that have prompted evacuations, the Ponderosa in Butte County and the Pleasant in Nevada County, have already burned at total of 3,800 acres, Cal Fire reports.
Existing dry brush and the hot air caused by the upcoming heat have the potential to worsen conditions and set the grounds for new incidents, officials said.
“If you’ve got outdoor plans for this holiday weekend you need to plan accordingly, especially checking with the local forest, making sure there are campfires allowed,” Mead said. “Folks need to be very diligent before they light any fires because the heat unfortunately is going to be in the mid-slopes and higher terrain as well. So, this is one of those events that even going to the coast or the mountains, you’re not going to see a whole heck of a lot of relief.”