Hot weather

The National Weather Service recorded a scorching 115 degrees in South County Aug. 16 as a heat wave continues to bake the state.

The NWS’s excessive heat warning continues through Wednesday night in the Santa Clara Valley and beyond, as triple-digit temperatures are expected at inland locations.

According to weather service data, Gilroy reached 115 degrees during the afternoon of Aug. 16, beating last year’s record of 107 for the day. The city hit 108 degrees on Aug. 15, four degrees higher than the previous record in 2019. 

Other weather sources pegged the high temperature in Morgan Hill at 111 degrees on Aug. 16.

Thunderstorms and lightning strikes have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning, which was expected to end at 11am on Monday. The rare summer thunderstorm has sparked fires throughout Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa and Stanislaus counties. On Aug. 16, lightning struck a palm tree near downtown San Jose and torched a couple of apartment units.

The Gilroy Library, 350 West Sixth St., is open as a cooling center through Wednesday from 1-5pm. Santa Clara County authorities reminded residents that Covid-19 social distancing guidelines apply even inside the cooling centers.

The lobby of the Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Center, 171 West Edmundson Ave., is also open as a cooling center during the current heat wave.

In a press release, county officials said due to the potential for heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, residents are encouraged to take precautionary measures including:

• Drinking plenty of fluids with electrolytes and staying out of the sun and in air conditioning, when possible.

• Ensuring young children and pets are never left in vehicles under any circumstance. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures within minutes.

• Assisting others on the street who may be having a severe reaction to the heat, by calling 911.

• Checking on a vulnerable person without air conditioning, such as an older adult or infirm neighbor, someone with a drug or alcohol disorder or severe mental illness, via phone or email and ensuring that they are staying cool and safe.

The county public health department also reminded residents to take the following Covid-19 precautions at the cooling centers:

• Do not enter if you have Covid-19 symptoms including fever, cough, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath, unexplained loss of taste or smell

• Face covering is required (exception of children 6 years and under or if medically inadvisable).

• Maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others at all times.

The state’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator, issued a Flex Alert through Aug. 19. Customers statewide are asked to conserve energy between 3-10pm each day

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