Heat wave to peak Thursday for Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Heat wave to peak Thursday for Nevada County

Families beat the heat in the calm and shallow waters of Squirrel Creek Tuesday afternoon at Western Gateway Park in Penn Valley. High temperatures are expected to hit 108 in western Nevada County on Thursday.
Photo: Elias Funez

The upcoming heat wave, which starts today, will peak Thursday at 101 in Grass Valley, the National Weather Service said.

Meteorologist Karleisa Rogacheski said the western edge of the county, close to Lake Wildwood, anticipates a high of 108 on Thursday.

Grass Valley highs will be between 93 and 95 degrees today. Rogacheski said those temperatures will remain prevalent from Scotts Flatt to White Cloud Campground. Truckee’s temperatures will peak at 85. Spots with an altitude above 7,000 feet will remain in the mid-70s.

Meteorologist Jonnie Powell said temperatures are expected to peak Thursday and remain uncomfortably high until Sunday.

Powell said heat waves cut air circulation from the sea, preventing the ocean’s cool breeze from reaching the inland Sierra Foothills.

Generally, the foothill’s evening temperatures trend toward the upper 50s this time of year, Powell said. Over the next five days, night temperatures will remain around the lower 70s, Powell said.

The warmest night forecast is Thursday into Friday, Rogacheski said.

“Overnight temperatures are expected between 69 and 75 degrees,” Rogacheski said. “There’s not a lot of cooling off.”

Powell said heat waves of this intensity are typical for summer months, but Thursday’s high is worthy of note.

“We have heat waves every year,” Powell said. “The thing about this one is Thursday is going to be a super hot day.”

Powell said the warmth experienced above 5,000 feet over the next five days will be more manageable. Truckee’s heat wave will peak in the mid-80s, he said.

“You just want to stay out of the foothills and the valley,” Powell advised, “right at the ocean would be nice.”

Powell said a strong delta breeze will offer minimal day time relief starting Monday, bringing Nevada County temperatures closer to the mid-80s and low 90s.

Monday high’s are 91 to 94 degrees in Grass Valley, with nighttime lows dropping back to a more reasonable 62 to 65 degrees.

Visitors and locals alike should heed the typical warnings that come with these extreme climate conditions, particularly for fire risk and heat stroke.

“It’s been dry and hasn’t rained in a while,” Powell said.


Betsy Brunner, communications and engagement director for the South Yuba River Citizen’s League, said fire restrictions are in place.

Brunner said heat stroke is common along different points of the river in these conditions, particularly if visitors fail to plan in advance.

“Yes, the water is cool and you cool off when you get in the water, but heat stroke happens at the river quite frequently because people aren’t hydrating appropriately,” Brunner said, adding that river enthusiasts ought to pack electrolytes and stay hydrated between dips in the water.

SYRCL’s current focus is improving people’s sense of direction — particularly for visitors — to improve everyone’s health, safety and shared appreciation of the Yuba.

“Hoyt’s Crossing is not a far hike at all,” Brunner explained, “but if you don’t know where you’re going, it can be dangerous.”

Brunner said the image of tourists towing heavy coolers navigating slippery rocks in the heat makes her nervous, but especially if they don’t know where they’re going.

“A lot of people end up there meeting other friends, but can’t figure out how to get a hold of them because of cell service,” Brunner said. “You (need) a plan before you go.”

Brunner said devising a plan in advance will reduce commute time from the car to the cool river itself.

“If people want to bring big coolers, maybe choose Bridgeport,” Brunner said. “Highway 49 is not a very good place to bring a … cooler.”

Brunner said if people experience headaches, dizziness or nausea, “you’re probably en route to heat stroke.”

People should also be mindful if they have cold, pale, clammy skin and a fast, weak pulse.

“If you’re throwing up or your symptoms are getting really bad, you can go to your river ambassadors — they have a satellite phone,” she said.

Brunner said SYRCL has river ambassadors at Highway 49 and Bridgeport — “it’s the big tent.”

Brunner said parking responsibly — behind white lines — during river forays will help people mitigate and respond to any potential crises on the river.

“Park responsibly, because if we do have someone with heat stroke it becomes very hard to get to the river if people are parked over the white line,” Brunner said.

SYRCL is encouraging people to use reef friendly sunscreen, as they have received reports of a silvery film with a sunscreen-like odor on top of the Yuba.

“Everybody is wearing it and that’s great,” Brunner said. “We want them to stay safe from the sun, but not with products that are detrimental to aquatic species.”

Brunner said although snow is still melting in the Sierra, the water in the Yuba River has been at July average levels since mid-May.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

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