BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Temperatures were a bit cooler on Sunday due to an upper low just off the central California coast. Highs in the San Joaquin Valley were generally two to four degrees above the climatological average at the end of August.
The high temperature in Fresno and Bakersfield was 98 degrees, ending a 16-day stretch of triple-digit highs in Fresno and a 14-day stretch in Bakersfield.
The upper low off the coast will drift slowly north into the San Francisco Bay area on Monday. Small temperature shifts are expected with highs primarily in the mid-upper 90s in the San Joaquin Valley. The low then weakens to an open wave and accelerates northward Tuesday as an upper high strengthens over the desert southwest.
The pattern set means strengthening the ridge through the end of the week as it becomes centered over the Great Basin and expands west across California. On Sunday or Monday, the ridge becomes centered over California. Temperatures will start to get warmer on Tuesday with widespread triple-digit heat returning to the San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday.
Further warming will push high temperatures to around 10 to 12 degrees above average on Thursday and Friday. Some more warming is expected this weekend as the upper high moves overhead.
Highs next Sunday and Monday are expected to be around 15 degrees above average for early September. These temperatures will lead to an increased risk of heat-related illnesses at lower elevations.
A high heat hazard develops Wednesday in desert areas with a widespread moderate heat hazard for the rest of the lower elevations. The high heat risk zone expands its coverage from Thursday to the weekend, with some areas becoming very high heat risk.
An excessive heat watch has been issued for lower elevations including the San Joaquin Valley, Coast Range, Lower Sierra Nevada Foothills, Yosemite Valley, Kern River Valley, Desert and Slopes of Mojave and the Indian Wells Valley from Wednesday morning through Monday evening.
Record temperature is possible in Fresno on Thursday as the forecast is for 106 degrees with a record high of 107. Further records could be set next Sunday and Monday as the heat builds to the hottest temperatures in This year.