106! San Francisco shatters all-time record high as heat wave bakes the West
SAN FRANCISCO -- An extreme heat wave baking California has obliterated a big record in San Francisco.
The thermometer in Downtown San Francisco briefly touched 106 degrees Friday afternoon, shattering the city's all-time record high of 103 set June 14, 2000. The temperature had cooled to 94 a couple hours later. Over at San Francisco Airport, the thermometer briefly hit 104, breaking their all-time record -- also 103.
Records go back into the late 1800s in San Francisco, so this is truly a historically hot day in the City by the Bay.
Triple digits were common across the Bay Area, especially away from the water. Pleasanton and Livermore hit 110, with Oakland hitting 108 and Fremont hitting 105.
An intense ridge of high pressure bubbling up the coast is not only bringing an extremely hot air mass, but similar to Seattle heat waves, they had an intense east wind that not only blows in hotter air from the interior, but holds back any kind of sea breeze. Even the coastal town of Pacifica hit 101.
The extreme heat sent project manager Michelle Ogburn to a cooling center set up in Santa Clara's North Branch Library, where ice water stations were set up and dozens of people, many of them homeless, were taking shelter Friday afternoon.
"I work from home and I live in an old mobile home with no air conditioning and not very good insulation. Today it was very hot and I just couldn't work," said Ogburn, who lives in Sunnyvale, California.
Schools in the city of Orinda are closing early Friday and sports events in several high schools in the area were canceled or rescheduled.
The extreme heat and light wind combined with vehicle exhaust are prompting officials to ask Bay Area motorists to limit their driving to reduce pollution. Smoke from at least a dozen wildfires burning in Northern California is drifting into Bay Area skies and contributing to the unhealthy air.
Ogburn said a friend offered to let her borrow a portable air conditioner but she didn't take up the offer.
"It's too much energy to run it," she said. "If it gets too hot over the weekend, I'll leave the house and go to a movie."
Managers of California's power grid asked for voluntary electricity conservation as forecasters predicted more extreme heat statewide. An excessive heat advisory remains in effect through Monday night for interior valley and higher elevations in the Bay Area, the National Weather Service said.
The California Independent System Operator predicted demand on the system would set a record higher than the 50,270 megawatts on July 24, 2006.
Consumers were asked to cut back on use of electricity between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. when use of air conditioners is at its peak.
A weeklong heat wave generated by high pressure over the West was nearing its peak, the National Weather Service said. People were urged to take precautions against heat-related illnesses - especially the elderly, infirm and children.
Inland areas north and east of San Francisco Bay were expected to bake in triple-digit heat of up to 115 degrees, and even the usually temperate coastline had 80s and 90s in the forecast. The region's hills and mountains were under fire weather warnings.
The warmth extended up the West Coast, with excessive-heat warnings posted for southwest Oregon and lesser advisory-level conditions in northwest Oregon. Western Washington state expected a sunny, hot and dry Labor Day weekend.
Elsewhere in the West, fire weather warnings were in effect for parts of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.