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Farmers market called off today; water play feature will still be on
Rafters in the Stanislaus River Sunday were in the cold, swift water off of Caswell State Park without wearing life jackets. Authorities say the conditions increase drowning risk significantly. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

What is turning into a record heat wave has prompted the Manteca Chamber of Commerce to cancel the weekly farmers market at Library Park that would have started today at 4:30 p.m.
Chamber Executive Director Joann Beattie said a number of farmers had indicated they would not attend as the excessive heat would impact the quality of fruits and vegetables being sold. Beattie said the chamber is also concerned about the general health of those attending. The high is expected to reach 108 degrees by 4 o’clock today. The high in Manteca on Monday was 111 degrees while the low was 78 degrees. The heat index made Monday’s heat that peaked at 3 p.m. feel like it was 116 degrees, according to the city’s weather station.
 The farmers market will resume on Tuesday, June 27.
The city, however, will still activate the Library Park’s interactive water play for use by kids today from 4:30 to 7 p.m. as they do during every Tuesday Market & Music at the Park. The water feature is also activated Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7. p.m.
With the National Weather Service forecasting triple digit heat through at least Saturday with a high of 112 degrees on Thursday, Manteca Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd has extended the cooling center operations at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, through at least Thursday. The hours are 1 to 9 p.m.
Shipherd said three people took advantage of the cooling center on the first day it opened on Sunday. 
The National Weather Service prediction of 10 consecutive days of triple digit heat will break a record of nine straight days of heat above the century mark for Manteca that was set in June of 1981. Triple digit heat is expected to continue through Sunday with the high that day reaching 105 degrees. The highest low is expected on Wednesday with a forecast of 75 degrees — exactly what the daytime high was just over two weeks ago in Manteca. The high Wednesday is predicted to hit 110 degrees.
Wednesday is also the first day of summer as well as the longest day and shortest night of the year. Sunrise in Manteca on Wednesday is 5:43 a.m. while sunrise is 8:30 p.m.

It may reach 108 degrees
today but you can still
go snow skiing in Sierra
Even though the temperature is expected to reach 108 today in Manteca and 94 degrees in Yosemite Valley, you can still go snow skiing at Mammoth Mountain in the Central Sierra south of Yosemite National Park and Squaw Valley north of Lake Tahoe.
The snow is deepest at Mammoth with 225 inches or just under 9 feet at the high point on the resort’s ski run near the 11,052-foot summit as of June 12. The middle run was at 100 inches and the lower run at 70 inches. Mammoth is projecting skiing will continue through Aug. 6.
The only issue is getting to Mammoth Lakes. What would normally be a 4.5-hour trip this time of year from Manteca to Mammoth Lakes driving some 186 highway miles will take at least two hours longer this week and possibly into July. That’s because Tioga Road (Highway 120) through the Yosemite high country is still closed due to snow. Highway 120 is clear of snow but still closed from the eastern entrance to Highway 395. Skiers need to take Sonora Pass to reach Mammoth Lakes.
The Olmsted Point avalanche zone along the Tioga Road is still active. Park Service personnel reported as of last Thursday that when snow removal crews reached Tenaya Lake at 8,150 feet that is nestled along Tioga Road that the lake was still frozen.
Squaw Valley on Monday reported 147 inches on its upper run near the 9,050-foot summit. That’s 88 inches less than Mammoth Lakes. Squaw Valley has set July 4 for its last day of skiing.

Rivers running swift
& cold but danger
doesn’t keep swimmers
away from Caswell
Closer to home, emergency personnel and park rangers continue to warn people about cold and swift water in rivers due to the near record snowmelt.
Caswell State Park’s Willow Beach south of Manteca and west of Ripon was jammed over the weekend as people — many from the Bay Area — flocked there to beat the heat.
The entrance was posted with signs in English and Spanish warning that all beaches are flooded and “there is no safe area to swim.” There were also warnings there are no lifeguards and that if you get into swift water even if you are standing up you could fall in and may drown. That didn’t stop people from swimming or even floating on the Stanislaus River without benefit of life jackets.
Life jackets, by the way, are available as a free loan at the Manteca fire station on Union Road.
There have been 11 drownings in the Sierra since the snowmelt started in May including one Sunday that marked the third drowning of the year in Sequoia National Park. There was also a drowning last month on the Stanislaus River near Knights Ferry.
Water flow on the Stanislaus is way above normal. New Melones Reservoir is releasing 4,171 cubic feet per second or the equivalent water volume of 4,171 basketballs every second. New Melones is now at 2.1 million acre feet or 140 percent of average for June 18. The reservoir holds 2.4 million acre feet with a projection that the Stanislaus River watershed still has another million acre feet of runoff from the snowpack that is left.
The current string of hot weather is expected to accelerate the melt.
The worse scenario, however, would be heavy rains hitting the snow during warm temperatures. That could prove problematic for reservoir operators walking the tight rope between maximizing carryover storage and making sure they don’t get overwhelmed if the snow melt accelerates.