Heat Dome Vexes Much of California

The official start of summer is still two weeks away, but swaths of California are already under an excessive heat warning. Maps from the National Weather Service show dangerous temperatures across the San Joaquin Valley and Kern County Deserts through 8 PM Friday. Excessive heat warnings are also in effect for parts of San Jose, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Mojave Desert, and the Antelope Valley. Portions of Fresno, San Joaquin and Porterville could get as hot as 106 degrees. Sacramento has already hit triple digit temperatures for the first time this year.

Wildfire risk is also increasing. To the relief of emergency personnel, a wildfire near an explosives and materials testing facility in San Joaquin County has been 94% contained. The Corral Fire was the largest of the season so far. Other active incidents include the West Fire (1,575 acres burned and 25% contained) and the Road Fire (1,088 acres burned and 60% contained) in Kern County.

The scorching temperatures are the result of a so-called “heat dome” in the southwest. The phenomenon occurs when atmospheric pressure traps hot ocean air over a particular region.

Cooling centers have opened across the state to offer relief to residents, especially the unhoused. Click here to find cooling center resources near you.