Sunny and scorching: That’s the kind of weather Lodi can look forward to this weekend. Starting Friday with a high of 102 degrees, the weather will get increasingly hotter, with highs of 106 and 109 over the weekend, according to Ken Clark, an expert senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com, a private weather forecasting service.
A blistering 112 degrees is expected on Monday.
The previous high for Stockton on July 1 was 108 degrees, in 1996.
“This isn’t even a summer weather pattern; it’s hotter than that,” Clark said. As he explains it, this heat wave was caused by a large dome of warm, high air pressure that built up in the atmosphere over Texas and New Mexico and began moving west.
And it’s not just Lodi and the Central Valley that will be baking this weekend. Triple-digit temperatures are forecast in Yosemite, and even Sierra altitudes over 5,000 feet are facing highs in the 90s.
“We’re flirting with surpassing a lot of record highs,” Clark said. Some notables? Las Vegas’ all-time record high is 117 degrees, set in 1994. Both Saturday and Sunday could see that record broken. Death Valley could also hit 130 degrees for the first time in almost a century, coming close to the record of 134 degrees set on July 10, 1913.
As for staying safe during the broiling heat, Clark advises avoiding any strenuous activity outdoors. Also, be sure to pack lots of water for any planned roadtrips.
“This is the kind of weather where cars — especially older ones — can overheat and leave you stranded,” he said.
The heat is tough on animals, too. At Micke Grove Zoo, keepers add fans and misters to the animal enclosures, and keep a close watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Spider monkeys, especially, need a cool environment, so the dirt on the floor is dampened. Many animals will stay inside their dens, like Monty, the 17-year-old mountain lion, according to office manager Kelly Morris.
What about more domestic animals? The kennels at the Lodi Animal Shelter can get pretty warm. Volunteers keep animals inside and inactive in the heat.
“If you take them outside, they just want to lay down in some cool place,” said Pat Wakefield, board member for People Assisting the Lodi Shelter.
If your dog gets overheated, do not pour water over their head or back, Wakefield said. Heat escapes their bodies through the top of the animal, so covering them in water makes them even warmer. Instead, provide a low pool of water so your pet can lay on his belly in the cool temperatures.
News-Sentinel reporter Sara Jane Pohlman contributed to this report.