Blistering heat baked the North Coast Sunday afternoon, shattering temperature records across the county for a second day and forcing residents indoors to avoid the scorching sun or fleeing to seek relief at local pools, rivers and beaches.
In what was the hottest day of the recent heat wave, the mercury peaked at 110 in Cloverdale, 106 in Santa Rosa and 99 in Petaluma, all records going back as much as a century, according to the U.S. Weather Service.
Slightly lower temperatures in the low 90s in Santa Rosa were forecast for Monday, but the heat is going to hang around through the rest of the week.
“There will be some relief, but I don’t think it’s anything substantial for you, unfortunately,” said Alyson Hoegg, a meteorologist from AccuWeather.
The soaring temperatures spurred Andrew Leonard to head out early Sunday looking to purchase an air conditioner for his Chanate Road-area home, to no avail. Trips to several area big box retailers found them sold out, he said.
“This is definitely hotter weather than we’re used to,” said Leonard, who works as a community engagement officer for Sonoma County. “To have this many consecutive days of consistent heat is definitely difficult.”
On his way back from his fruitless errand, Leonard said he drove past the unusual sight of a sidewalk buckled upward by the heat. The combination of thin concrete and ineffective joints meant that when the material expanded, the sections of sidewalk pushed against one another and raised several inches off the ground, he said.
“I thought ‘This is amazing. This is crazy,’” he said.
Leonard said his wife eventually picked up a small air conditioner on her way back from San Francisco, but for real relief the pair planned to head down to their association’s pool.
Plenty of others did exactly the same things.
The city’s popular Ridgway Aquatic Center was at its 381-person capacity for most of the day, while Finley Aquatic Center also saw crowds close to its 400 capacity, said Adriane Mertens, marketing and outreach coordinator for the parks department.
The city set up a cooling station Sunday at Finley from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. that provided water. It also encouraged people to find cool places to go such as malls, movie theaters and parks with grassy shaded areas.
Watching a movie in a cool, air-conditioned theater was the perfect antidote to the heat wave for many others on Sunday.
“This is the place to be,” said Peggy Gable of Windsor who was walking in to see the film “Megan Leavey.” “It’s too hot to be anywhere else.”
John Cole and his wife Martha of Santa Rosa said they wouldn’t usually go to a movie on a Sunday, except to escape the heat.
“It’s this or the mall,” he said. “This is more comfortable.”
The heat apparently took a toll on the number of entrants to the “Show & Shine” car show at Juilliard Park.
Organizer John Bly said about 80 of the classic cars scheduled to enter did not show up.
“It’s probably due to the weather,” he said. Some car owners “actually said the heat affects their paint job,” he said.