Excessive heat warning issued through Thursday
An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service, forecast to last through Thursday, signals the first significant heat wave of the season for western Nevada County.
The weather service forecasts afternoon highs of 95 to 100 degrees through Thursday in the foothills, with nighttime lows in the mid- to high 60s.
“We are seeing a high heat risk, so it falls under an excessive heat warning,” said meteorologist Cory Mueller.
Mueller explained that several factors are considered in the Monday issuance of a heat warning.
“It takes a look at climatology, where temperatures should be, how high above normal they are, how acclimated people are to the heat, and also research of CDC records on heat-related illness,” he said.
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In particular, the heat wave may elevate risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke due to prolonged exposure. The groups facing the highest risk are children, the elderly, and those with underlying health concerns, although the general population is also at elevated risk if performing extended outdoor activity or living without air conditioning.
According to Mueller, the quiet, warm weather of the summer appears when an area is stuck under a ridge — a higher region in the pressure field which tends not to allow as much precipitation.
“But especially in May and these early months, you have shifting weather patterns fairly quickly, so we were under a trough and that brought us the cooler rain last week,” he said. “Now, we saw this high pressure build, and that really warmed things up quickly — and that’s what we’ll be stuck under for the rest of the week.”
Temperatures will begin to cool Friday, with an expected afternoon high of 88, then dropping near 70 for Saturday and Sunday. The three-day period is expected to also see cloudy nights, with lows dropping into the 50s.
An up to 50% chance of rain is also forecast from Friday evening through Saturday, with an up to 20% chance of thunder each night.
“As we head into the weekend, we’ll have a system come in off the Pacific, and that will bring us cooler temperatures, the chance for showers, and even some isolated thunderstorms,” explained Mueller.
For tips and resources on heat safety from the National Weather Service, visit http://www.weather.gov/safety/heat.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union.
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