By Darren Peck

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The intense heat gripping the Pacific Northwest was originally intended for the Bay Area.

As recently as June 18th, long range high resolution forecasts began depicting an intense heat dome centered over Northern California’s Central Valley with daytime highs reaching up to 119 in Sacramento and 126 in Redding.

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If you don’t remember hearing the warnings coming from our meteorologists, that’s because the numbers seemed too high to be taken seriously. Forecast more than 7 days out are not to be taken as an exact depiction of what the reality will end up being.

Meteorologists were convinced the extreme nature of the temperatures would come to reflect a more reasonable heat wave as the end of June approached. Only that didn’t happen. What did happen instead, luckily for Northern California, is that the center of the heat dome shifter north.

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While the location changed, the intensity did not. In this sense, Northern California dodged one intense heat wave. While temperature in the Bay Area would likely not have been as high as those being depicted for the Central Valley, the implications would still have been significant with temps nearing 110 for our inland East Bay valleys.

The intense heat wave playing out Monday is not an isolated event. Two weeks ago, it was the deserts of southeastern California, Arizona and Utah which experienced record setting heat thanks to a similarly intense heat dome. It was close enough to initiate Excessive Heat Warnings for many of the Bay Areas inland valleys.

While there are no heat domes in the foreseeable forecast for the Bay Area directly, the two we’ve just witnessed should be stark reminders of what could just as easily be us next time.

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Darren Peck