Fresno Survives Record-Breaking Heat. Will Weekend Cooldown Bring Rain?
California’s merciless heat wave delivered record-breaking temperatures on Tuesday, but the state’s stressed electrical grid withstood the demand without rolling blackouts.
Today’s forecast calls for a drop in temperatures, and the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the grid, is indicating it will have sufficient power at peak demand times.
However, Cal-ISO extended its Flex Alert to Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.
Tips for saving energy during the voluntary Flex Alerts are at this link.
Cal-ISO said that Tuesday’s peak demand hit 52,061 megawatts, far above the previous high of 50,270 megawatts set on July 24, 2006.
You can follow the state’s electricity supply, current demand, and expected peak demand in real time at this link.
Heat-Related Outages in Bay Area, Clovis
While there were no rolling blackouts, heat-related outages were reported in the San Francisco Bay Area cities of Palo Alto and Alameda, affecting several thousand customers for about an hour.
About 4,200 Clovis residents also saw their power go out Tuesday afternoon because of heat damage, a PG&E spokesman said.
On Wednesday morning, there were scattered outages in Fresno and Kerman. Each of the outages affected less than 50 customers, according to PG&E’s outage map.
Will Fresno See Rain This Weekend?
The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 110 degrees today in Fresno and falling temperatures thereafter. Saturday’s high is expected to be 96.
Thanks to Hurricane Kay, which is gathering strength in the Pacific, the NWS says there is a 20% chance of showers in Fresno on Saturday and a 30% chance on Sunday.
Record-Breaking Temperatures Everywhere
Sacramento hit an all-time high Tuesday of 116 degrees (46.7 C), breaking a 97-year-old record.
Six places in the San Francisco Bay Area and central coast set all-time record maximum temperatures, including Santa Rosa with 115 degrees.
NWS Hanford summarized the Valley records in its Wednesday morning discussion:
“Merced had a high temperature of 116 degrees, setting a new all-time record high since records began in Merced in 1899. The previous record was 114 degrees, last set on July 17, 1925. Fresno had a high of 114 degrees, setting a new record high for September. This was 1 degree shy of the all-time record high in Fresno. Bakersfield set a new record high for September with 115 degrees. Madera had a high of 115 degrees, tying the record high for September. Hanford had a high of 114, setting a new record high for September.”
In Nevada, Reno’s 106 was its hottest day ever recorded in September and smashed the previous record for the date, 96 degrees, set in 1944.
In Utah’s Salt Lake City — a city at more than 4,000 feet in elevation — temperatures were about 20 degrees higher than normal, hitting 105 for the hottest September day recorded going back to 1874.
ABC30 reported Tuesday that four firefighters battling a wildfire on Powerhouse Road in Auberry were hospitalized with heat-related injuries.
The fire near Kerckhoff Reservoir covered 115 acres and was 25% contained at 9:48 a.m. Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.
Watch: The Power Fire
(Associated Press contributed to this article.)