By tomorrow the heat wave will subside, this weekend there may be rain showers

Bay Area residents got an unseasonably warm start to spring, but temperatures are expected to cool by Thursday, before another shot of rain can advance over the weekend.

A ridge of high pressure, which has strengthened over the coast over the past few days, is expected to keep temperatures in the 70s and 80s and 18 degrees above normal Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The heat wave broke eight temperature records on Tuesday and is likely to match or break even more on Wednesday in Santa Rosa, whose last record was 84 degrees in 1926; Richmond, which last had a high of 75 degrees in 2015; and at San Francisco International Airport, which has a record of 73 degrees in 1970. Records can also be broken in Oakland, Redwood City, Half Moon Bay, San Jose and Gilroy.

Winds are likely to be around 10 to 15 mph along the coasts Wednesday, with gusts of up to 20 mph. The situation is likely to remain the same on Thursday as well.

Temperatures are expected to drop on Thursday as the ridge weakened, returning daytime highs to near normal Sunday and Monday, with highs in the 60s and 70s. Rain may enter the forecast again on Sunday, but there is still some uncertainty with weather models for a few days. Storms are expected to drop between 0.2 and 0.5 of an inch of rain over inland valleys, while coastlines, including coastal mountains, could be as much as half an inch to more than an inch.

“In one of the models the storm is very far to the south and in the other it is centered above us, which is where the moisture will be,” said forecaster Braden Murdock. “It’s a little back and forth on that, but what’s wet tends to be more consistent, which is good news.”

A storm last weekend – the last one of winter – dropped about a tenth of an inch of rain in the North Bay and San Francisco, about 0.15 to 0.2 inches in the Santa Cruz Mountains and just under 0.1 inches in Santa Clara. Valley. The Sierra Nevada was covered in two to four inches of snow, with the highest elevation reaching six inches.

The upcoming hurricane is not expected to make a huge dent in California’s ongoing drought, which is entering its third year in a row.

“It’s like a regular spring set-up,” Murdock said. “We see these ridges break through troughs and luckily, we didn’t get too hot with yesterday’s warm-up. We’re not seeing long days of heat, so we’re not as concerned with fire concerns as we are.” That happened last year.”

RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 22: Gabby St. Onge, Zola Vasco-Jones, 3, and her mother, Sashenka Vasco-Jones, play in the water on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at Keller Beach in Richmond, Calif. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

Heat and dry air have raised concerns for fires in the Bay Area, but Murdock said the situation is not as dire as last year, when Northern California was beginning to experience record dry conditions in terms of fire fuel. Wildfires have ignited during what would be the hottest time of year, prolonging the fire season. Fuel and vegetation have also dried up during recent droughts and require high rainfall storms to replenish them.

Massive atmospheric river storms in October and December raised hopes of easing California’s drought, but January and February 1921 were the driest on record. The statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack, which meets about 30% of the state’s water needs, stood at 168%. According to the California Department of Water Resources, that was normal on New Year’s Day, but had dropped to 50% by Wednesday.

The US Drought Monitor also reported Thursday that 93% of California is in “severe drought”, an increase of 87% from the week before, while 35% of the state is in “extreme drought”, a decrease from 13. Above is the most serious stage. , Extreme drought has extended to the north coast and all nine Gulf regions are currently in the grip of severe drought.

“This rain is a step forward but a few steps back,” Murdock said. “We could always use something else.”

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MARCH 22: Unseasonably hot weather tempts both humans and dogs to take a nap in the sun at Chrissy Field, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
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SAN JOSE, CA – MARCH 22: San Jose State University junior Haimi Shah reads a book on campus on March 22, 2022 in San Jose, Calif. A ridge of high pressure from the coast was moving inland on Tuesday, initiating widespread warming conditions. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are 10 to 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area Newsgroup)
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RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 22: People take a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Keller Beach on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 in Richmond, Calif. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

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