Bay Area Braces For Record High Temperatures, Unhealthy Smog Levels

Enjoy the last vestiges of cool weather because a brutal heat wave is making a beeline for the Bay Area.

Temperatures are expected to rise between 10 and 15 degrees on Thursday. They will soar to even more dangerous levels Friday, with most of the inland valley experiencing triple-digit temperatures. The coming days could be the hottest so far this summer.

An excessive heat watch will be in effect from Thursday afternoon through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service. A red flag warning will also be issued between 9 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Saturday due to hot and dry conditions and northerly wind gusts. 

Forecasters expect Fairfield to reach 112 degrees Fahrenheit, Concord 113, San Jose 101, Santa Cruz 91, Half Moon Bay 86 and San Francisco 84 . At 115 degrees, Livermore will tie its all-time record that was set in 1950, the National Weather Service said.

A developing tropical system near Baja, California may transport some subtropical moisture into Southern California on Tuesday and Wednesday. It remains unclear whether the storm will affect the Bay Area.

Meanwhile, a Spare the Air alert has been issued in the Bay Area for Thursday because hot temperatures, light wind and vehicle exhaust are expected to combine to create unhealthy smog levels, regional air quality officials said.

The alert, the 10th issued so far for smog in 2017, is because of particularly unhealthy ozone levels expected in the South Bay and East Bay, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

"Extreme heat starting late this week is expected to cause unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area likely through the Labor Day weekend," air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

Officials recommend carpooling, taking public district or working from home if possible to limit smog levels in the area.

"We need to change how we get around and stop driving alone to reduce our pollution levels and protect our health," Broadbent said.

Bay Area residents are also advised to only exercise in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower.

List of cooling centers around the Bay Area:

  • Benicia: Public Library, 150 E. L St.; Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
  • Campbell: Community Center, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Room E-44; Thursday to Sunday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday.
  • Cupertino: Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N Stelling Road, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sunday
  • Livermore: Livermore Area Recreation and Park District, Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Los Gatos: Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave., Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday (Labor Day)
  • Milpitas: Community Center, 457 E. Calaveras Blvd., Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Barbara Lee Senior Center, 40 N. Milpitas Blvd., Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sports Center, 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd., Monday–Thursday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Morgan Hill: Centennial Recreation Center, 171 W. Edmundson Ave., Monday-Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Open Labor Day holiday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey St., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mountain View: Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin St., Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. CLOSED Monday (Labor Day)
  • Napa: Las Flores Community Center, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Senior Center, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., This Friday, Sept. 1, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • San Jose: For a list of community center locations in the city of San Jose, visit the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services web page.​
  • Santa Clara (check website for updates): Central Park Library, 2635 Homesteads Road, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; City Hall Cafeteria, 1500 Warburton Ave., Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm; closed Saturday and Sunday; Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd., Monday - Thursday, 8 am to 8 pm; Friday, 8 am to 5 pm; Saturday 9 am to noon; closed Sunday; Northside Branch Library, 695 Moreland Way, Monday - Tuesday, 11 am to 8 pm; Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; closed Sunday; Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St., Monday - Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm; Friday, 7 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 9 am to noon; closed Sunday​
  • Santa Clara County: County libraries located in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Campbell, Cupertino, and Milpitas; check website for hours and locations.
  • Saratoga: Joan Pisani Community Center: 19655 Allendale Ave., Call for hours: (408) 868-1249; Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., Call for hours: (408) 867-6126
    Saratoga: Joan Pisani Community Center: 19655 Allendale Ave., Call for hours: (408) 868-1249; Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., Call for hours: (408) 867-6126

Here are some tips on how to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar
  • Limit physical activity, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don't leave people or pets in closed, parked cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas, including malls, libraries, movie theaters and community centers
  • Cool off by taking a bath or shower.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Do not bundle babies or put them in blankets or heavy clothing.
  • Cover your head with wide-brimmed, vented hats or use umbrellas
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Rest in shady areas

Additional tips for people who work outdoors:

  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:

  • During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.

Infants and Children:

  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
  • Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
  • Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.


  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked or open.
  • Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation.
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