The Bay Area basked in unseasonable warmth Monday with record high temperatures in Santa Rosa and a number of other cities.

Downtown Santa Rosa hit 84 degrees Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, surpassing the Nov. 5 record of 83 degrees logged in 1980 and twice in previous decades.

Records also toppled in downtown Oakland with a high of 84 degrees, San Francisco International Airport at 79, Gilroy at 90 and Salinas at 94, according to the Weather Service.

In San Jose, the mercury hit 84, surpassing the previous high of 82, set in 1901.

Sunny conditions are forecast again through today, although not as warm. Cooler weather and rain are in the outlook toward the end of the work week.

"I'm enjoying the weather right now," said Casey Moreno, a 19-year-old engineering student sitting on the large lawn in front of Santa Rosa Junior College. He was dressed in swim trunks and a T-shirt, eating lunch.

"I decided to soak up the sun. I don't know how many days we'll have like this," he said.

Nearby, Dave Hensley was cooling off in the shade of an oak. "I love the sun, but I'm trying not to get overheated and hot," said Hensley, 44, an unemployed baker and landscaper who had ridden his bicycle from Rincon Valley.

High pressure and resultant offshore winds that suppress the marine layer are responsible for the high temperatures, Weather Service meteorologist Bob Benjamin said.

But that's expected to change Wednesday as a new system moves in from the Gulf of Alaska, bringing below normal temperatures Thursday through Saturday along with a chance of showers. Daytime highs will be in the 50s to 60s, with night lows in the upper 30s and 40s.

"It won't be tremendous, probably half to 1 inch," Benjamin said of the rain that could fall in the North Bay. "It's not a real major storm."

Still, the Weather Service was calling for snow levels to drop down to around to 3,000 to 3,500 feet around the Bay Area, with the possibility of small hail and thunderstorms over the North Bay.

Forecasters said there could be lingering showers into Saturday morning before things dry out for the weekend.

You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or