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Record-Setting Heat Sets Its Dangerous Aim on Fresno This Week
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 weeks ago on
July 1, 2024

Survive the heat by staying indoors and staying hydrated. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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A dangerous triple-digit heat wave that’s engulfing the Fresno area as well as entire Valley and westward to the coast could bring record-setting high temperatures this week and weekend.

Pacific Gas and Electric warned customers in Northern and Central California, including Fresno, to be prepared for possible power outages due to equipment failures in high heat.

Saturday’s forecast high of 114 degrees for Fresno would set a new all-time record for July 6. The previous high of 111 was set in 2007.

The all-time high for Fresno is 115 degrees and it was set on July 8, 1905.

(At this point some of us may be starting to wonder if there might have been a grain of truth in last week’s “faux-casts” on Apple Weather of 121 and 120 degrees.)

Meteorologist Antoinette Serrato of the National Weather Service in Hanford had a kind of good news/bad news forecast.

The “good” news: as of Monday: It looks like Saturday will be the hottest day of the string of hot days.

The bad news? Serrato and the National Weather Service can’t say yet with any precision exactly when the string of triple-digit days will end — the forecast only goes out through Monday.

Why will Saturday be the hottest day?

“So we have a high-pressure system that’s moving in off the Pacific Ocean, and it’s really just going to sit stationary over California,” she said. “And so that’s really the day where all of that heat will be able to just kind of sink and be pent up with that high pressure. And so that’s what’s leading to Saturday, being the hottest day.

“And because of that high-pressure system being stationary, even when it begins to move out of the area, it’ll be slow. And so we’ll still have those high temperatures following it as the high-pressure system begins to move out of the area.”

The Weather Service might have to extend the Excessive Heat Advisory into July 9 and 10, even after the high-pressure system moves off California, Serrato said.

Excessive Heat Advisory for Most of California

The National Weather Service has declared an Excessive Heat Advisory for most of California starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday and continuing through Monday. With the heat risk at “extreme,” meteorologists warn that continued exposure to the brutal heat without proper hydration is dangerous and could lead to heat-related illnesses even for the able-bodied, as well as for babies, the elderly, and people already struggling with health problems.

People who do not have access to air-conditioning should be looking for cooling centers, Serrato said.

PG&E Warns of Possible Power Outages

Pacific Gas and Electric warned customers in Northern and Central California, including Fresno, to be prepared for possible power outages due to equipment failures in high heat.

PG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center and all regional and local emergency centers, and has prepositioned crews and equipment, such as transformers, in areas likelier to be affected by heat-related outages.

During times of intense heat when energy use increases, electrical equipment and the grid can overheat, and outages may occur.

You can sign up for PG&E power outage alerts at this link. The utility’s power outage center is at this link.

(GV Wire Illustration)

No Stranger to Extreme Heat

According to the NWS Hanford website, the longest string of days of high temperatures 112 degrees or hotter in Fresno was five days in late July 2006, followed by four consecutive days in late July-early August in 1908,

The longest set of consecutive days of 110 degrees or hotter was six days in late July 1898, according to the historical records.

Want to try to escape the heat completely? You’ll either need to be right on the coast or high in the Sierra, and these days the Sierra is struggling with its own heat issues (wildland fires).

NWS heat safety tips

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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