Sonoma County heat wave brings preview of summer (w/video)

"You see increased outdoor water use during a heat wave, and so now is the time to remind folks the drought is still on. We really need to buckle down and resist the urge to over-water unnecessarily," Sherwood said.

The last few weeks have seen afternoon temperatures see-saw between extra-warm and very cool.

The current spell of hot weather started Monday with several local areas peaking in the low 90s.

California Heat Wave


Tuesday was a scorcher, with Santa Rosa and surrounding areas reaching into the low to mid-90s. Record high temperatures came close to being broken. Santa Rosa's high Tuesday was 94 at around 3 p.m. The record was 97 degrees set in 1976.

Today's forecast high in Santa Rosa, 96 degrees, would bust the record of 95 set in 1970. Average for both days is 74.

The heat spike is due to a massive high pressure system sitting over an area stretching from Alaska to Southern California and stretching east toward the Rockies, said Tony Zartman, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.

Thursday, the pressure system should start to break down. By Friday temperatures should dip closer to normal ranges, in the upper 70s and low 80s.

The heat didn't seem to faze people who were out and about Tuesday. Many students walking home along Sonoma Avenue from Herbert Slater Middle School were wearing sweatshirts and long sleeves.

A few families brought their children to the water's edge at Howarth Park to feed the ducks and geese and take a cool dip.

"I didn't think it was going to be this hot," said Tanya Gonzalez, 25, of Sonoma who was holding her 8-month-old baby girl Hazel as Luis, her 3-year-old, was frolicking in the water. "I want to go, but he doesn't want to leave."

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