California Heat Wave Brings Record-Breaking Temps to Bay Area

Image: California Heat Wave Brings Record-Breaking Temps to Bay Area A pug dog rests under the shade of her owner's bench at the Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 06:03 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A California heat wave has residents around San Francisco and Monterey sweltering in unseasonably hot weather this week as a high-pressure front moves in, bringing record-breaking temperatures to the area.

“Many record high temperatures are forecast to be broken both Tuesday and Wednesday,” a National Weather Service heat alert said. The temperatures were projected to reach the 80s and mid-90s on the coasts and bay areas, and 90s to low 100s inland.

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Compounding the unusually high heat is an outbreak of wildfires near San Diego that is moving westward, The Associated Press said. The fires are being spread by the high winds that accompanied the high-pressure system.

The fires destroyed a home forced evacuations in the area, including two high schools and one elementary school. Firefighters were battling more than half a dozen separate blazes.

Dry northeast winds, called the Santa Ana winds, low humidity, and crushing heat caused southern California fire agencies to prepare crews for the inevitable, The Los Angeles Times said.

Roads were being closed into the Angeles National Forest because of fire danger, and some departments were upping their response to brush fires in hopes of getting them under immediate control, the Times said.

Bloomberg News reported that the spiking temperatures pushed the power grid to a six-year seasonal high.

Record drought has reduced hydroelectric supplies, and added to that are low inventories of natural gas.

“This will be a fairly good test of the market being that it is early to get this kind of heat and our eyes should be focused on California given their lack of hydro and lack of nukes,” Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg. “We’re going to get greater volatility and greater prices for gas and power.”

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