California prepares for wild weather week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KTVU and wires) – A heat advisory was issued for the San Francisco Bay Area Monday as remnant moisture from Hurricane Blanca began creeping its way up the coast from San Diego, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service says temperatures Monday will surpass 100 degrees in some locations from the inland valleys and deserts of Southern California to the inland parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, which are under a heat advisory through evening.

Forecasters said Monday would be the warmest day of the year so far and warned outdoor workers and others to stay hydrated to avoid heat stroke.

San Francisco was predicted to be in the mid-70s with the Livermore area soaring into the 90s.

California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith warned residents to prepare themselves for what could be a very hot, dry summer.

"Because this hot spell has come on rather suddenly, many people may be caught off guard by the warm up," Smith said. "It is important that all Californians take precautions to prevent heat-related illness and stay hydrated."

Smith offers the following tips to stay safe in extreme heat:

  • Those lacking air conditioning should go to a cooling center, library, or public place such as a shopping mall to cool off for a few hours each day.
  • Avoid physical exertion/exercise outdoors during the hottest parts of the day to avoid overheating. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time. When working outside, drink plenty of water or juice even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade.
  • Check on elderly who live alone every 24 hours; many may be on medications which increase likelihood of dehydration.
  • Those lacking air conditioning should go to a cooling center, library, or public place such as a shopping mall to cool off for a few hours each day.
  • To prevent overheating, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. Get medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, feel delirious, or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.
  • Never, EVER leave infants, children or frail elderly unattended in a parked car – it can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck, and wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes.
  • Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.
  • Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen may reduce the risk of skin cancer, the number one cancer affecting Californians. Sunscreen may also prevent premature aging.

On Tuesday, a low-pressure system will pull remnant moisture into Southern California from former Hurricane Blanca, now a tropical storm southwest of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Forecasters predicted that humidity would increase along with a chance of showers, a slight chance of thunderstorms and heavy localized rainfall.

Thunderstorms were forecast in much of Northern and Central California on Tuesday, creating the potential for wildfires amid the tinder-dry drought conditions.