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It’ll be a (heat) blast: Summer arriving in South San Joaquin

Summer arrives officially today at 1:50 p.m. with the high expected to be 93 degrees.

That will make a visit to Music on Maple today starting at 6 p.m. in the 100 block of Maple Avenue in downtown Manteca with its live music, food trucks, kids games, and vendors to browse a bit pleasant.

Enjoy the cool weather while you can.

Not only are triple-digit temperatures returning this weekend, but the 15-day outlook doesn’t have another day where the high is as low as it will be today.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 106 degrees Saturday and 103 degrees Sunday in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.

Then through at least July 2, the top daily temperatures will be in the mid-to-high 90s.

For the record, the hottest day in at least 20 years in Manteca was on Sept. 6, 2022. The temperature reached — and stayed at — 115 degrees between 4:36 and 5:10 p.m. that day.

And while fire danger is a clear concern with summer weather, equally important is being smart venturing out to places such as the Stanislaus River, Woodward Reservoir, or the Delta.

An average of 12 people die a year from drowning in San Joaquin County, according to the California Water Safety Coalition.

Most are in the Delta and the Stanislaus River.

It is why the Manteca Fire Department at its Union Road station has a free life jacket borrowing program for people to take advantage of before heading to area rivers and lakes.

You can contact the fire department for information. Fire Chief Dave Marques noted that drop-ins are welcome at the Union Road station.

Of the 184 drowning deaths over a 15-year period, 52 were ages 25 thru 44, 48 ages 45 thru 64, and 21 ages 1 thru 4.

The risk of drowning spikes as the temperature rises.

That’s because the water — especially in the Stanislaus River that is fed by the lower level reservoir releases at New Melones where the water is colder — is 30 to 40 degrees cooler than the air temperature

It is also coupled with fast moving water.

The San Joaquin River at the Airport Way bridge south of Manteca at the Vernalis gauge monitored by the United States Geological  Survey recorded the river depth at 10.33 feet on Wednesday. Water was moving at a rate of 2,302 cubic feet per second.

That’s the equivalent volume of water filling 2,302 basketballs passing a given point in one second.

The National Center for Cold Water Safety notes below 77 degrees breathing begins to be affected.
Between 60 and 70 degrees, breathing is difficult to control or hold.

From 50 to 60 degrees, breath cannot be regained after losing it and muscle control is lost after a few minutes.

Strong swimmers can even lose muscle control.

There is often a false sense of security, especially along rivers, where areas near shore or shallow, and the water is not moving swiftly. But venture out enough and the river bottom can drop off and you enter the main part of the channel where water moves much swifter.

It is why the Delta drownings typically involve those who were on boats in the river  and accidently fell off — or went for a swim — without lifejackets.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email