Shaping up to be the hottest year on planet earth, California communities are experiencing the effects of complex extreme heat due to climate change. Growing in intensity, frequency and duration, this warm weather has broken records in California and beyond. Following the warmest June in history, July is set to follow suit, with July 6 marked as Earth’s hottest day ever recorded according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Across the state of California, between July 1 and July 28, 2023, 117 highest max temperature records were tied, and 241 highest max temperature records were broken, for a total of 358.
Beyond California, widespread heatwaves across the American west have impacted tens of millions of Americans. For example, Phoenix, Arizona just experienced 31 consecutive days of 110 degrees or higher.
Nearly 40% of the U.S. population has faced heat advisories this summer, according to the NWS. High temperatures have already scorched the Southwest this month, and more heat is expected in the Midwest and the Northeast in the coming days.
According to NWS Western Region, Californians still need to be hesitant about outdoor activities this upcoming weekend. Temperatures will see another significant warming trend statewide into the weekend and early next week, bringing a return to moderate heat impacts for many areas. Daytime temperatures are forecast to reach 100 to 110 degrees for many inland areas, and even warmer in the southern deserts, while coastal locations see readings in the 90s, warmest Saturday through Monday. Temperatures will gradually diminish to more typical August levels by the middle of next week.
As temperatures rise this weekend, please be mindful of the health and safety of you and your loved ones.
DURING A HEAT EVENT
- Avoid strenuous activity and direct exposure to the sun during the hottest parts of the day, specifically from 12 – 6 p.m.
- Stay hydrated and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
- Protect your skin using sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
- Ensure your pets have plenty of cool, fresh water.
- NEVER leave children or pets in the car. Even when temperatures outside are mild, the temperature inside the car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
If you do not have access to air conditioning, find a public cooling center near you.
HEAT RELATED ILLNESS
Extreme heat poses a substantial health risk, especially for vulnerable populations. It’s important to understand the warning signs of heat-related illness. Symptoms include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
Vomiting, paleness, tiredness and dizziness can also be indicators of heat-related illness. To help prevent heat-related illness, be sure to use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. Get medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, you feel delirious or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.