How hot do you expect it to be to get to where you live?

An early spring heat wave is gripping the Bay Area, with temperatures expected to rise into the 80s and 90s for most of the region on Thursday before cooling off by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A ridge of high pressure and offshore winds marked the start of inclement weather on Wednesday with low humidity levels and temperatures around 15 to 20 degrees above normal. Warmer weather is expected to reach its peak on Thursday, with areas of the Santa Clara Valley swelling up to 95 degrees, while more inland areas like Livermore could climb to 92. Meanwhile, it can be cold – around the 70s and 80s – along the shoreline.

A similar heat wave during this time of year occurred in 1989, making it a close call in terms of breaking any temperature records on Thursday. It can rise to 92 degrees in Livermore, 96 degrees in Gilroy and 89 degrees in Oakland, surpassing 1989’s records of 89, 94 and 87 degrees, respectively. Meanwhile, Thursday’s temperatures could add up to 93 degrees in San Jose, 90 degrees in Santa Rosa and 92 degrees in Redwood City.

“This is a spring heat event that will be punctuated by a dramatic cool-down,” said NWS forecaster Brian Garcia. “I’d say it’s thirst-inducing.”

According to the Meteorological Service, people should take breaks, stay hydrated, avoid outdoor activities during the midday hours and never leave any animals or people inside their cars.

Forecasters don’t predict a battle of unseasonably hot weather to last long.

The upper level ridge is expected to drift east on Friday and with the onset of onshore winds, temperatures could drop five to 15 degrees, in the 60s and 70s along the coast and near the 70s and 90s inland. There is a possibility of further five to 10 degrees cooler on Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, forecasters say it will be 20 to 25 degrees cooler than Thursday.

Winds of 70 to 80 mph are expected in the Santa Cruz Mountains along the North Bay and East Bay hills as a burst of offshore winds during the weekend. Strong winds could also increase the potential for wildfire risk, although Garcia says recent storms have fortunately been drenched with some fuel.

“With these types of winds and low relative humidity, the only other piece of the equation is kind of fuel moisture,” he said. “The fuels are showing some degree of moisture in them, since the last rain we had, so there’s little concern about the risk of a fire season.”

The next shot of rain could come early Monday morning, although the chances are relatively low and the system is expected to remain north of the Bay Area. Due to a dry cold front during the weekend, Monday through Tuesday, some light snow may fall in the high altitude areas of the Big Sur region, including the East Bay Hills and the Santa Lucia Range.

“We’re getting the tail end of a system as it passes through the Pacific Northwest. It could clip us,” Garcia said. “But we’ll take any rain we can get.”

Despite the recent relief of massive atmospheric river storms and March rains in October and December, the fuel has reached moisture levels typically seen in early June, increasing the risk of year-round wildfires. The probability increases. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which accounts for 30% of the state’s water supply, reached its lowest level in 70 years, reaching 30% below normal on Wednesday. By this time last year, snowpack was 51% of normal.

The US Drought Monitor also reported Thursday that about 94% of California is in “severe drought”, an increase of 87% from almost a month ago, while about 41% of the state is in “extreme drought”, which is the most serious stage. above 13%. Extreme drought has spread to the north coast, and all nine Gulf regions are currently in the grip of severe drought.

“We’re clearly behind in precipitation for the season and as we go deeper and deeper into the season, the normal amount of rain decreases,” Garcia said. “For example, by the end of the water year in San Jose, which is September 30, the probability of reaching normal rainfall for the water year is 1.82%.”

San Jose has received seven inches of rain since the water year began on October 1, while the city typically receives 12.02 inches by this time of year. Based on historical averages, San Jose typically receives 13.48 inches during the entire water year.

“It’s not looking good for us to come close to reaching normal,” Garcia said. “We will be dry and there will be a dry summer.”

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