The historic California heat wave: When will the deadly temperatures end?
Extreme heat ravaged California over the weekend, causing concerns of blackouts, death, and the effects of the drought. But the heat isn’t over yet — here’s what you need to know
Extreme heat is ravaging the state of California. The record-setting temperatures threaten the state’s power grid, lives and — combined with the drought — increase the chances of forest fires, according to The New York Times.
How hot will it get this week?
Marc Chenard, a forecaster from the Weather Prediction Center, told NPR that California will see record-breaking heat until Friday. CNN reported that Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Fresno, Sacramento and Redding have been under excessive heat warnings.
ABC affiliate KXTV reported a weekly forecast for the state, with temperature highs ranging from 100 to 114 for the state until Saturday. The temperatures are projected to drop out of the 100s by Sunday. Death Valley, the nation’s hottest spot, is predicted to reach 125 degrees, according to USA Today.
Heat warnings from the National Weather Service have been put in place for much of California, but also for most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Oregon. The National Weather Service has released extreme heat warnings in Utah for Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Lake Powell and St. George.
Forecasters are warning people to be cautious because the heat can be life-threatening. Here are some tips to stay safe during the heat:
- Stay in air-conditioned areas if possible.
- Wear loose and light clothes.
- Drink lots of water.
- Take cold showers.
- Avoid using ovens.
- Shut blinds and curtains to prevent heat coming in through windows.
- Drench your T-shirt in water.
- Stay in the shade.
Will the power go out in California?
According to The New York Times, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the state has added at least 8,000 megawatts of clean energy to its power grid since 2020. However, severe drought has limited hydropower and solar power is only accessible until the sun sets, leaving the state to rely on gas-fired power pants and imported power.
Officials have asked California residents to set their air conditioning to 78 degrees in order to conserve power. USA Today reported that residents are also encouraged to avoid using major appliances and turn off necessary lights.
Elliot Mainzer, Califorina’s power grid CEO, said in a video that the efforts of California residents to conserve energy the past few evenings have made a real difference. However, this week will be the most intense part of the heat wave.
“Forecasted demand for Monday and Tuesday is at all-time record levels and the potential for rotating outages has increased significantly,” Mainzer said, adding that this week will require “two to three times as much conservation” to keep the power on.