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8-day heat wave starts on Thursday

The longest and most brutal heat wave of the summer starts Thursday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting eight consecutive days of 100 degree plus temperature with a peak of 108 degrees Saturday.

If you think you can head into the Sierra to get relief, cross Yosemite National Park off your list even if you manage to score a reservation for park entry.  The high Saturday for Yosemite Valley at 3,966 feet is predicted to reach 94 degrees although the peak days of the heat wave in the national park will be 97 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Head up higher on Saturday to the Sonora Pass area at 9,623 feet and the high will reach 71 degrees. But there is also a slight threat of thundershowers as well as dry lightning plus the fact it is a 2½ hour drive one way.

Your best bet if you are going to flee the valley in some manner during a heat wave in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic is to follow Mark Twain’s sage advice that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

The high in The City is expected to reach 72 degrees on Saturday. That is downright chilly compared to Manteca’s projected low this Friday that at 73 degrees will be a degree higher than San Francisco’s high.

The combination of a prolonged heat wave along with the pandemic that has more people working at home for companies that also have a smaller workforce reporting to offices has energy experts worried about increased air conditioning loads. As a result people are asked to not turn air conditioning below 72 and to avoid all non-essential electrical use during the peak of the day such as washing machines and dryers.

The National Weather Service has issued a red high risk alert for much of the population of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties this weekend. Saturday’s high of 108 degrees is expected to be bookmarked by 105 degree days on both Friday and Sunday with the lows staying above 70 degrees.

Authorities note the fact there is little overnight cooling expected will create comfort issues after the sun goes down. That is in addition to precautions needed to stay cool and hydrated during the day.

Manteca Fire Battalion Chief Dave Marques noted the City of Manteca emergency cooling center will open daily from 1 to 9 p.m. this Thursday through next Thursday at the Manteca Transit Center at Moffat Boulevard and South Main Street.

Manteca fire crews have just returned from assisting with wildfires.

Marques hopes major wildfires will not occur during the heat wave given the stagnant air would make smoke a big problem.

Manteca fire crews have just returned from assisting with wildfires.

Typically during periods of 100 degree plus fire department calls for heat related issues will go up a bit but “not as much as you’d imagine” Marques said.

That’s because most people heed advice to avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the dry, stay hydrated, and make efforts to stay cool.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email