SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A high pressure stalled over Nevada Thursday, triggering the threat of soaring weekend temperatures in the wildfire-ravaged areas of the South Bay over the Labor Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
NWS forecasters issued a excessive heat warning for the weekend, predicting that triple digit temperatures were possible for areas not directly along the Pacific coastline.
“Excessive Heat Watch is in effect from Saturday morning through Monday evening,” NWS forecasters said. “Inland highs are forecast to be in the 100-105 degree range on Saturday, and 105-110 Sunday and Monday in the hottest locations. Little relief is expected at night with lows in the 60s and 70s, with even some lower 80s in the hills.”
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 1, 2020
NWS forecasters said temperatures along the coast and around San Francisco Bay will not reach the sweltering levels of the memorable 2017 Labor Day heat wave.
“Back on the Labor Day heatwave of 2017 when San Francisco reached 106 degrees, there was an offshore northeast flow … which completely wiped out the marine layer and brought record heat to the coast,” forecasters said.
“For the upcoming event,” they added. “The offshore flow is not expected to be as strong as the winds aloft will be light and more southeasterly. Therefore we expect the marine layer to hold on along the coast. Highs along the coast including San Francisco are forecast to warm to the upper 70s and 80s but at this time, it does not look to get hot like 2017.”
But that won’t be the case away from the coastline.
“It will warm up very quickly away from the coast with the southern end of the bay getting into the 90s,” forecasters said.
Generally when temperatures soar in the Bay Area, thousands flock to local beaches. But Pacifica officials have announced they will be closing their popular beaches for Labor Day weekend to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“With the continuing health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the City is taking the necessary measures to promote the health and safety of our community,” Pacifica Mayor Deirdre Martin said.
Pacifica City Manager Kevin Woodhouse ordered the beaches to be closed from sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 5 to sunrise on Tuesday, Sept. 8, according to a release sent out Tuesday.
Despite recent spikes of coronavirus cases, residents in cities all over the Bay Area have been crowding to local beaches during hot weekends. Cities along the coast like Monterey have been ordering beach closures in order to prevent further spikes. Santa Cruz County voted last month to close beaches in its unincorporated areas over Labor Day.
Pacifica is specifically closing these locations:
- Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar Beach) and north and south parking lots,
- Crespi parking lot in front of the Pacifica Community Center,
- Rockaway Beach and north and south parking lots,
- Sharp Park Beach
- Esplanade Beach and Fisherman’s Lot in the 800 block of Palmetto Avenue
Predictions of soaring temperatures was also not good news for the thousands of firefighters battle to control two large lightning fire complexes — the SCU Complex, now mostly still burning in Santa Clara County, and the CZU Complex in the timber-rich Santa Cruz Mountains.
While most of the thousands forced from their homes by the CZU Complex have returned to their homes, the blaze still just remains 46 percent contained as of Wednesday morning and had burned 85,467 acres and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes.
More progress had been made at containing the sprawling SCU Complex. It was 72 percent contained and had burned 391,578 acres — the second largest wildfire outbreak in history.
“Winds will generally be light and from the west,” Cal Fire officials said of the weather conditions Wednesday morning. “Longer range forecasts continue to call for a warming and drying trend that will last through Labor Day Weekend.”