Merced residents who sweated through a sweltering Wednesday will wonder where summer went by the weekend.
Wednesday's high was 106 in Merced, with a low of 65.
But by Sunday, that Iraq-like heat will be just a memory when the high is predicted to be only 76.
"We have a large area of high pressure over us right now that is bringing unseasonably warm temperatures," said Jeff Barlow, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "But that high pressure is going to break down quickly."
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Barlow said a cool storm that's centered over the Gulf of Alaska will drop down into California over the weekend, bringing with it temperatures most people equate with spring.
Today's high is expected to be about about 100, but the temperatures will drop by Friday and the weekend. Friday's high should be near 94, and Saturday will see a high of 82. Sunday's high will be a cool 76, with nighttime temperatures in the 50s.
The Central Valley has enjoyed an abnormally cool summer this year, and Barlow said that's because the high pressure that usually sits over the state moved eastward this year, causing high temperatures in the South and Southeast.
"We aren't seeing the 100-degree days we normally see this time of the year," Barlow said.
Because of the relatively cool temperatures this summer, neither the city of Merced nor Merced County have opened their cooling centers.
Mike Conway, public information officer for the city, said the city follows state standards on cooling centers.
"We open them when we've had three consecutive days of 105 degrees or hotter," Conway said. "We haven't had to open them this year."
Ed Banks, the deputy director of administration for the Merced County Office of Emergency Services, said it uses the same standards the city does.
"We are prepared to open if we need to," Banks said. "Although Wednesday was a very hot day, it looks like the rest of the week will be cooler, so the cooling centers won't have to be opened."
The city's cooling center is usually the Sam Pipes Room at the Civic Center, while the county's cooling centers are usually at libraries throughout the county.
The National Weather Service offers tips for people to follow when the temperature is extremely hot, including drinking plenty of fluids, staying out of the sun and keeping pets out of the sun and making sure they have plenty of water.
The record high in Merced for Aug. 25 is 111 in 1931, and for Aug. 26 the record is 109, also set in 1931.
"We should be seeing below normal temperatures through next Tuesday at least," Barlow said. "We're looking at a drop of almost 30 degrees from Wednesday to Sunday."
Whatever the cause, it gives us something to talk about.
Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.