A heat wave turned up temperatures on Monday, and while Tuesday is expected to be a tad cooler, especially in coastal areas, inland valleys will see another day of 100-degree-plus weather that makes you feel as if you’re living in a sauna.
Meteorologists say temperatures will slowly drop through the week with widespread cooling most likely on Thursday.
“Essentially day by day we’re going to expect the ocean cool breeze to infiltrate a little deeper inland,” says Scott Rowe, a forecaster with the National Weather Service’s office in Monterey. “All of San Francisco should be cooler today. For the core Bay Area, the transition will be Wednesday into Thursday when a great number of the population will see relief.”
Widespread record-breaking temperatures swept the Bay Area on Monday. Santa Rosa peaked at 101 degrees, breaking its same-day record of 100 set in 1921. San Francisco Airport hit 100, smashing its former high of 94 in 1994. And Oakland Airport reached 97 degrees, surpassing its daily record of 90 in 2002.
Sweltering heat is typical in the summer months in Northern California, but usually the highest temperatures bake inland areas while the coastal areas are 10 to even 20 degrees cooler due to ocean breezes blowing cool air inland.
With this heat event, the coastal areas are also seeing the sizzling temperatures with highs in the 90s. NWS forecaster Steve Anderson explains many factors are contributing to this.
“We’ve got a very warm air mass in place and the kicker was the overnight lows,” Anderson explained Monday. “We had high clouds move in over us right after the peak heating on Sunday and it trapped all that air in place.”
What’s more, Anderson says the winds are in an unusual pattern. The sea breeze that usually acts as a natural-air conditioning, blowing cool air off the Pacific Ocean toward the coast, calmed over the weekend and remains nonexistent. Meanwhile an offshore wind has kicked up is blowing the hot inland air toward the coast.
On Tuesday, a weak ocean breeze is forecast to return and should keep coastal areas such as Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay out of the 90s. But the breeze is unlikely to reach inland areas where temperatures will once again soar.