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Heat wave begins: Thermometer hits 104 degrees downtown

How much cooler is it in the shade?

Utility provider SMUD gave infrared thermometers to reporters to help demonstrate the cooling effect of trees. Tree cover can dramatically reduce the cost of cooling homes and businesses.
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Utility provider SMUD gave infrared thermometers to reporters to help demonstrate the cooling effect of trees. Tree cover can dramatically reduce the cost of cooling homes and businesses.

Triple-digit heat has returned to Sacramento, with temperatures reaching 104 downtown on Saturday and expected to top 100 degrees through much of the work week.

National Weather Service forecasters in Sacramento say the heat comes courtesy of a high-pressure system parked over much of Northern California that is pushing temperatures anywhere from seven to nine degrees above normal for late July. Sacramento-area temperatures are expected to stick around 102 to 103 degrees through much of the week, forecasters say.

“This warm spell is above normal, but no records,” said forecaster Jason Clapp. The average temperature for the Sacramento area this time of year is 94 degrees, Clapp said. The record high for July 23 in Sacramento was 111 degrees, set in 2006. That is little consolation, however, and Clapp said normally cooling Delta breezes and coastal cloud cover will also be hard to find.

“It makes it fairly uncomfortable. There will be some breeze, but it won’t be a cooling Delta breeze,” Clapp said.

Sunday: Sunny and hot, with south-southwest winds at 7 mph. Highs near 101. A clear night. Lows about 60 with south winds at 9 mph.

Monday: Sunny and hot, temps slightly lower at 98. South-southwest wind about 7 mph. A clear night with lows near 62.

Tuesday: Sunny and hot. Highs near 102. Clear skies at night. Low around 62.

Wednesday: Sunny and hot. Highs near 102. Skies remain clear overnight. Lows abut 62.

Thursday: Sunny and hot. Highs near 102. A clear night with lows around 62.

Friday: Sunny and hot with a high near 102.

Source: National Weather Service – Sacramento

As the mercury rises, so does the risk of heat-related illness. An emergency department doctor has tips on how to stay safe in the heat.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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