WILLITS, 6/13/21 — The first severe heatwave of the season will be arriving later this week, just ahead of the summer solstice on Sunday, June 20. A larger high pressure ridge will begin moving from the Four-Corners region west towards California on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the temps peaking on Thursday, then cooling off slightly but remaining very high.
Inland temperatures in the Central Valley are expected to crack 110 degrees and Mendocino’s Ukiah, Redwood, and Potter Valleys are also forecast to see temps in the high triple digits. Meteorologists think that daily records will likely fall, but warn that some parts of southern California might even see all-time records set.
Temperatures of around 107 degrees are forecast for Ukiah and 112 in Redding.
However, neither the National Weather Service nor fire agencies is currently predicting an extreme fire weather event — though the heat component will definitely be intense, winds are not expected to be strong enough to merit red flag warnings. Pacific Gas & Electric does not currently show any plans to perform a power shut-off this coming week.
On the other hand in what is now a historic drought, this intense early-season heatwave is expected to worsen conditions by evaporating water our of reservoirs and drying out soil and vegetation, raising fire risk later in the season and straining California’s water system further.
While the National Weather Service’s office in Sacramento has already issued a heat watch for their region, the Eureka office has not and is monitoring the forecasts.
According to their forecast discussion:
The hottest days appear to be on Thursday and Friday. Interior high temperatures from 102-112F degrees are expected. Daily record high temperatures at Ukiah are 105F on Thursday and 108F on Friday. NBM indicates 107F both on Thu and Fri. With 850MB temperatures soaring to 27-29C, that may be too low. Even though climatological records are an interesting aspect of this heat wave, the primary concern is the heat risk. The heat risk is forecast to be moderate with areas of high heat risk for interior Mendocino, Trinity and Lake Counties Thu and Fri. A watch for excessive heat will need to be considered in the next day or two. The hot weather will likely persist next weekend, but temperatures should start to trend downward.NWS Eureka
It’s inconceivable! We are caught in a historic drought with an intense early-season heatwave. With our rivers, streams and springs drying and our reservoirs at extremely low levels, we face another life threatening fire season. And in the face of all this, Mendocino County races to slip through a loophole that will stop an Environmental Impact Review that could help us understand and prepare for the health and welfare of our future.
Why does the county insist that expanding cannabis grow and allowing them into rangeland is the correct path forward? Who is served by this reckless action? Our aquifers (read well water) are being poisoned with fertilizers and pesticides. Our precious drinking water is being sucked out by giant water trucks and driven away. The aquifer cannot be replenished without rain, creeks, springs and a melting snowpack.
Mendocino County’s actions put us all at risk. Consider the dust bowl and the destruction of Owen’s Valley. Consider the fact that the Pentagon believes climate change is a national security issue.
We need to ask why the county is set on this dangerous path? Who does it serve? When will they realize that there isn’t enough water to support their short term vision?