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Blast Furnace Temperatures Headed to Valley. How Hot Will This Weekend Be?

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Valley cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield will reach 110 degrees or higher this weekend as the Southwest U.S. bakes in a dangerous heat wave. (Shutterstock)
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Life-threatening hot weather is expected to bake Fresno and surrounding communities with weekend temperatures reaching 110 degrees or higher, says the National Weather Service in Hanford.

As hot as that is, other western regions are facing even more extreme weather. For example, Death Valley could hit 127 degrees on Sunday, according to Accuweather. Colin McCarthy of U.S. Stormwatch says Death Valley may top out at 130 on Sunday.

FYI: The highest temperature ever recorded in the United States is 134 degrees measured in Death Valley on July 10, 1913.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service office in Phoenix fears that the city is about to experience temperatures that will “rival some of the worst heat waves this area has ever seen.” Temperatures there could reach 120 degrees this weekend.

Following an abnormally wet winter and spring, Fresno didn’t experience its first triple-digit high until NWS recorded 104 degrees on June 30. That was followed by 108s on July 1 and July 2, 104 on July 3, and 100 on America’s birthday.

It has been resort-like weather for the San Joaquin Valley since then, but the NWS forecast calls for a return to triple digits on Wednesday followed by furnace-blast-like temperatures on Saturday and Sunday. Adding to the challenge: the searing temperatures will be accompanied by wind gusts of 5 mph to 10 mph.

Could South Valley Hit 120? One Forecast Says Yes.

A forecast used by a major agricultural company in the Valley says temperatures could reach as high as 120 degrees at some Tulare County and Kern County locations. However, the NWS forecast calls for weekend highs in Bakersfield similar to those in Fresno.

If you’re hunting for a spot to cool off, the Central Coast is promising. The NWS forecast for San Luis Obispo calls for patchy morning fog and highs of about 80 on Friday through Sunday.

Shaver Lake in the Sierra also will offer relief. Weather.com is predicting highs of 88 to 94, respectively, Friday through Sunday. Bass Lake, however, is expected to crack triple digits during the weekend, weather.com says.

Killer Heat Waves

On average, there are 702 heat-related deaths, 9,200 hospitalizations, and 67,000 emergency room visits annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 1998, 948 children have died after being left in hot cars — including 33 last year.

“In an average year in the U.S., heat kills more people than any other type of extreme weather,” says Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Scientific American.

A reminder: Fresno cooling centers will resume operations on Wednesday, July 12, Details in the tweet below:

By following these tips, you can stay safe this weekend:

NWS heat safety tips

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email