North County temperatures again soar to near record levels

Sue Hulsmann said the thermometer at her Paso Robles vineyard read 113 degrees Thursday. Too hot, even for someone familiar with scorching North County summers.

She and her three children, out of school for the summer, spent most of the day inside as a heat wave swept across much of San Luis Obispo County. It sent North County temperatures to near-record levels, topping out at 110 degrees at one location in south Paso Robles, according to official measurements.

But on Friday, Hulsmann piled the kids into the hot car, drove down Kiler Canyon Road and grabbed a couple of chairs in the shade at Paso Robles Centennial Pool.

“It is so hot you can’t do anything outside except be at the pool or be indoors,” Hulsmann said.

Hulsmann and her mother, Barbara Hofer, sat in the shade while the kids splashed in the pool. Outside of the canopy’s protection, the heat was stifling. Temperatures hit 110 degrees for the second straight day, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. The day’s record high set in 1998 was 112 degrees.

Just outside of the pool’s perimeter fence, a young married couple sold shaved ice from a small trailer.

“This is our time to shine right now,” Paradise Ice employee Jennifer Petrowski said.

She said the shaved ice business was booming even before triple-digit temperatures hit, getting particularly busy on a warm Saturday evening at Atascadero’s Summer Concert Series at Lake Park.

“We did amazing, over $1,200 in sales in four hours,” Petrowski said.

Nearly everyone around the Centennial Pool on Friday had a shaved ice in hand, including 7-year-old Rosie Hulsmann.

“My favorite thing to do on a hot day is swim,” she said as she crunched bubble gum flavored ice.

There will be plenty of more pool days for the Hulsmann family.

Lindsey predicts that the hot weather will continue through the weekend before a slight cool down. Temperatures in Paso Robles are expected to again reach 110 degrees Saturday before dropping to a high of 101 on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are expected to be in the mid-90s in the northern part of the county, Lindsey said.

Meanwhile, the county’s coastal communities remained cool. In an interesting dichotomy, at 2 p.m. Friday, Diablo Canyon Power Plant near Avila Beach was at 57 degrees while a thermometer in nearby Avila Valley read 107 degrees, Lindsey said. San Luis Obispo Airport hit 92 degrees and is expected to drop into the high 70s early next week.

Another heat wave is expected next weekend, according to Lindsey, that could send North County temperatures past the 110-degree mark into the following week for the start of the Mid-State Fair.

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