Is it time to cool off? Bay Area temperatures still above normal this week but working their way down

Is it time to cool off? Bay Area temperatures still above normal this week but working their way down

A few subtle changes were in the air around the Bay Area on Sunday, following what forecasters called the hottest, most intense day in one of the hottest, most intense heat waves in the region’s recent history.

The morning breeze was just a bit cooler and far-reaching. The barometer was down just slightly, and the high-pressure system that gave rise to all this heat had made significant movement east and south, National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Merchant said.

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So it was, that a day after high temperatures rose to 110 degrees in some places and topped 100 in many others, they weren’t supposed to crack triple figures anywhere but the most extreme places on Sunday. Add in a similar forecast for Monday and Tuesday, and it does appear that the worst of the Bay Area warmth is in the rearview mirror — for the moment, anyway.

“Some areas are cooling down, but we’re still going to be well above normal this week,” Merchant said. “Temperatures are going to be way up. They’re just not going to be as far up as they were on Saturday.”

Temperatures rose high enough Saturday to break a Livermore record that has lasted longer than a century. Livermore topped out at 111 degrees, according to the weather service, two degrees more than on the same date in 1905.

In central Contra Costa County, the gauge reached 105 degrees in Concord, according to the weather service. Further east, it was 108 in Brentwood. In the South Bay, Morgan Hill saw 106 on Saturday and San Jose was 96.

Even in areas normally immune from oven-like heat, the temperatures were relentless. Oakland got up to 75, and downtown San Francisco was 71.

All of those temperatures were forecast to be slightly cooler Sunday and Monday, and in some places, the cooldown was expected to be as much as 8 to 12 degrees difference. Livermore was expected to max out at 100  and Concord and Morgan Hill at 96 on Sunday. San Jose was forecast to peak at 91, Oakland at 74 and San Francisco at 70.

According to Merchant, the cool-off is coming with slightly more intensity than originally thought, because of the far-reaching effects of Tropical Storm Beryl, which is making its way toward the Texas coast and may reach hurricane strength by the time it arrives on Monday.

“Some of what is coming from that is creating some push for the high-pressure,” Merchant said. “We’ve needed something to move it.”

An extreme heat warning remained in place and will stay that way through Wednesday night, Merchant said. The nine-day warning is the longest the weather service has ever issued in the Bay Area.

A red-flag warning for severe fire danger no longer was in effect anywhere in the region on Sunday morning, Merchant said.

Following the downward trend of temperatures through Tuesday, they will tick up slightly again on Wednesday and Thursday, before another more significant cooldown, Merchant said.

“Next weekend should be really noticeably cooler,” he said. “Until then, we’ll still be dealing with heat, maybe not as bad as it’s been but still well above normal.”