Kaweah Country mired in record-breaking heatwave




and any other incendiary devices


in Three Rivers and all foothills and mountain areas.



After only a couple days in the past week with a daytime high temperature below 100 degrees, a second surge of heat from a strong southwestern ridge of high pressure will be affecting the San Joaquin Valley and most of Northern California noticeably more than the first one. Those temperatures of 110 degrees plus for the Desert Southwest last week will become more common in inland California.

Even coastal regions will flirt with triple digits, and the oppressive heat is expected in some oceanside communities where many residences are not equipped with air conditioners. In Three Rivers and the nearby foothills, starting with Saturday, June 25, forecasters are calling for at least 10 and maybe as many as 15 consecutive days of triple-digit temps that will see daily highs range from 105 to 110.

According to the weather analysts at Weather West, this magnitude of hot weather over the entire Southwest is unprecedented for June. Although it is impossible to say how hot it will actually get in all areas, it is possible for record-breaking temperatures over a large region. 

While it will also be hot in the Bay Area, the risk of extreme heat there will be lessened by a lingering marine influence. If the offshore flow strengthens, even San Francisco will reach the upper 90s or even experience a triple digit day or two, which could prove life-threatening for some.

All this hot air is likely to bring a surge of subtropical activity similar to the Sierra set-up for late-afternoon thunderstorms typical in late-summer. In this next 10-day period, dry lightning and thunder is possible for anywhere in the state. 

That potential for dry lightning is of grave concern from a fire weather perspective. With the millions of dead and dying trees up and down the Sierra, Cal Fire is staffing up for the worst while hoping somehow California can dodge an inevitable bullet.

The Kaweah River and gradually shrinking pool at Lake Kaweah will remain much sought-after cool spots throughout the extra-long Fourth of July weekend. River flows in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River are still eclipsing 800 cubic feet per second six hours after sunset. There is still high country snowmelt fueling the nightly peak flows but even the snow on north-facing slopes above 10,000 feet is now melting rapidly.

In Three Rivers, those who need to escape the heat may go to the Three Rivers Library during its regular business hours. It and all Tulare County libraries are official cooling centers.    

Residents can protect themselves against heat-related illnesses by following these recommended measures:

—Drink plenty of fluids; eat salt-free, light foods; and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.   

—Use air conditioning and portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms, or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls or libraries. If you don’t have AC, keep shades drawn and windows slightly open.

—If you need to cool down, take a cool bath or shower.

—And be sure to keep in contact with friends and family who may be at greater risk of heat illness, such as infants, young children, the elderly, and those with health risks.

Never leave children or pets in parked cars for any reason, even with the windows down. Call police if you see a child or pet in a parked car.

And make sure pets and livestock have accessible shade and water at all times.

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