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Hazardous triple-digit heat wave forecast

Summer wants to remind us it’s here

A photo of the sun, surrounded by a single enormous lens flare. Public Domain

The Bay Area has escaped most of the record temperatures inflicted on the rest of the country in recent weeks, but summer will turn its unflinching eye on the region starting Saturday, with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees predicted for the East Bay.

The National Weather Service (NWS) put out a Heat Advisory today, in effect from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday, warning of “record or near record heat, with many high temperatures 95 to 105” throughout much of Northern California.

Specifically, the affected area covers:

East Bay Interior Valleys, East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range, Southern Salinas Valley/Arroyo Seco and Lake San Antonio, Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest, Mountains Of San Benito County and Interior Monterey County including Pinnacles National Park, including the cities of Concord, Antioch, Livermore, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Pittsburg, San Ramon, Blackhawk, Greenfield, and King City.

The forecast also warns that “overnight low temperatures will only cool to the mid 60s to the mid 70s, which will not offer much relief.”

In the Concord area temperatures could hit 104 Saturday, and the forecast expects 102 in Walnut Creek and in Danville, and 101 around Livermore .

The longer, 10-day forecast from the Weather Channel is only a little better better, anticipating 101 degrees in Concord and 99 in Walnut Creek at the worst of it.

Most of the rest of the Bay Area will be feeling the burn this weekend as well but not to any degree that should be dangerous. San Francisco should expect temperatures in the ‘70s, and in Oakland highs are expected to top out at 81. San Jose will creep up into the very low 90s.

However, note that last time this happened, in June, SF ended up much hotter than the early warnings predicted, cracking 100 degrees. So even areas with cooler temperatures predicted should prepare for warmer weather.

For most people, a heat wave is uncomfortable and inconvenient but not much of a danger. Nevertheless, high temperatures, particularly when combined with increased humidity, can be extremely hazardous, particularly to young children, the elderly, or those suffering from illness, although even seemingly healthy people may become victim to heat-related disorders in temperatures like these.

In 2018, Curbed reported that heat waves caused more deaths in the U.S. than all other natural disasters combined. “Heat waves are especially deadly when nighttime temperatures don’t cool enough,” since human bodies rely on overnight relief to make up for the rigors of intense heat during the day.