While bundled-up children sledded and played in the snow at Pacheco Elementary School, other San Luis Obispo residents shed layers and sweated as the city posted the highest temperature in the nation on Thursday.
Across town, Cal Poly experienced the hottest January day it has seen in the more than 100 years that records have been kept. The temperature reached 89 degrees on campus, which broke the all-time January record of 88 degrees set on Jan. 17, 1976, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.
“It’s unprecedented,” Lindsey said. The cause, he said, is a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure over the state.
The previous record for Jan. 16 in San Luis Obispo was 80 degrees, set in 1948, he said.
By about 4:30 p.m., Paso Robles had reached 82 degrees, but the temperature was still rising.
Slightly cooler weather is anticipated through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Farther out, a low-pressure system could develop off the California coastline Wednesday and produce gentle southerly winds and marine low clouds with some areas of drizzle, according to Lindsey.
Then, dry and warmer weather could return through the end of January.