Monday, February 6

California heat wave live updates: Statewide Flex Alert starts this afternoon

The California “heat dome” is now entering Day 7. The heat wave, one of the worst in state history, has smashed temperature records across Northern California, and the Bay Area has seen some of its most jarring temperatures. An all-time record high of 117 was set in Fairfield at Travis Air Force Base on Labor Day and daily and monthly records fell in cities along the bay. California’s power grid will face more strain on Wednesday, though blackouts were largely averted on Tuesday even amid record-breaking demand. 

Our reporters are fanning out today to bring you the latest news from around the state and the Bay Area.

Latest updates:

California Flex Alert takes effect this afternoon

A statewide Flex Alert will take effect at 4 p.m. Wednesday and last through 9 p.m. as energy officials plea with the public to conserve energy in an effort to stave off blackouts. 

When will the California heat wave be over?

Blistering temperatures are on tap again for the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley on Wednesday, the question on everyone’s mind is: when will the heat finally come to an end?

The European, American and Canadian weather models are all signaling something that the Bay Area hasn’t seen for several days now: a moderate sea breeze. Read the Bay Area weather forecast from our newsroom meteorologist. 

Fire risk in California: Possible ‘nightmare’ scenario

The brutal California heat wave is making it difficult to contain a number of fast-moving blazes. While the larger Bay Area and Central Coast regions have not seen extreme wildfires yet this season, the extreme temperatures are further drying fuels and Hurricane Kay could arrive on the California coast this weekend, bringing lightning that could spark wildfires.

“… What this extreme heat is doing is kiln-drying the vegetation, pre-baking it if you will and making things that much more flammable,” said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, speaking Tuesday during a Twitter Spaces event. There is also potential that remnants of Hurricane Kay could creep up the California coast this weekend, bringing thunder and lightning, without rain — increasing the odds of dangerous lightning-strike fires sparking. 

Read more here on how the extreme heat has increased fire risk in the Bay Area.

Fifth & Mission podcast: The Bay Area’s historic heat wave

Chronicle meteorologist Gerry Diaz joins host Cecilia Lei on Tuesday’s episode of the Fifth & Mission podcast to talk about the record-breaking heat wave and how Bay Area residents can keep themselves safe.

“It really has been an exceptional heat wave for some residents in the area,” Diaz says. “We’ve been dealing with this heat for almost a week now, and we’ve already seen two days in a row of oppressive temperatures all across the Bay Area.”

You can listen to the episode using this player or by searching for Fifth & Mission on your favorite podcast app.



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