Pick a spot, nearly any spot on the map in the Bay Area and the story’s the same: punishing, unrelenting heat.
The record-breaking, track-warping, blackout-inducing heatwave has gripped the region for days – and as of Tuesday, it wasn’t ready to leave town just yet.
Don’t say you weren’t warned, Bay dwellers. Bay Area forecasters rolled out the bad news on Friday: Enjoy the weather while it lasts, because by Sunday, you’ll be begging for mercy. “This weekend will be the hottest temps so far this season,” National Weather Service Bay Area tweeted last week.
Monday was even hotter, with records melting from Kentfield to King City (107!) to a yeah-you-read-that 97 degrees in downtown San Francisco. More than 26,000 Bay Area residents and businesses lost power, including nearly 15,000 in the East Bay and nearly 4,300 in San Francisco including the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, the San Francisco Chronicle, reported citing numbers released by Pacific Gas & Electric.
And on Tuesday, Bay Area residents were still seeking relief as temperatures across the region climbed into the high 80s and into the 90s by 11 a.m., and records continued to fall.
Why the oppressive heat? A stubborn high pressure system that parked over the Bay Area combined with offshore winds, said Anna Schneider, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Monterey. Heat advisories and warnings are in place until 9 p.m.
Monterey rewrote the record books with an 86 by 11 a.m., smashing the previous record for June 11 of 78 degrees in 2012, National Weather Service forecasters reported.
Even the Bay Area’s BART and Caltrain trains were scrambling for shade and a dip in the pool after Monday’s excessive heat warped rail tracks, caused major systemwide delays and toppled records from San Francisco to Salinas. Tuesday returned with more of the same track bending heat.
Caltrain imposed heat restrictions for a second day Tuesday – this time on main tracks from Menlo Park to San Jose – to guard against heat-induced expansion of its tracks, telling its engineers to watch their speed: 60 mph, please, 40 mph for freight trains.
Forecasters could barely keep up: 100 in Concord, Livermore and Salinas; 96 in Los Gatos. Even Big Sur posted 91 – all before 1 p.m.
But the weather service’s Schneider said relief is on the way: “We’re expecting more cooling around the coast” by Wednesday, she said, with temperatures retreating to the mid- to upper 70s and mid- to upper 90s inland. Temperatures in the inland areas were forecast to settle into the 80s by Friday.
By Saturday, the heat wave will have become a distant memory, the National Weather Service says, with temperatures in San Francisco, San Jose and Hollister falling as many as 17 degrees from their Tuesday peak.