Temperatures are forecast to break the century mark this weekend in the Merced region, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast office in Hanford.
After approaching 100 degrees today and Saturday, hot weather will settle in Sunday, when the high temperature is expected to be 101.
Triple-digit heat is not expected to last as Monday’s high will drop back into the upper 90s.
Jim Bagnall of the National Weather Service in Hanford said the early heat wave could produce temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above average for this time of year, he said.
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Bagnall predicted about a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms today at elevations above 6,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada.
However, Bagnall dashed any hopes of that rain trickling down to the drought-stricken central San Joaquin Valley, which he said has no rain on the horizon.
Bagnall also shared the grim rain numbers for the water year, which ends June 30. “So far, we have had 4.81 inches,” he said. “The average is 11.34 inches.”
These unusually high temperatures underscore the importance of outdoor safety, especially when children are involved.
Fresno Fire Department spokesman Koby Johns said that leaving children or animals in a car – even while it’s running – is a risk.
“There have been incidents where people have stolen cars with children in them,” he said. “The heat can cause a medical emergency in minutes. There’s no errand that is worth the worst-case scenario.”