Record-setting heat and smoky air descended on the Bay Area on Sunday and is expected to only improve slightly over the next few days, the National Weather Service said.
At least a dozen Bay Area cities recorded record-high temperatures Sunday. And though temperatures are expected to go down a bit toward the end of this coming week, that cooldown is expected to come with higher winds at inland points, especially at higher elevations, said Brayden Murdock, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The scorching heat was coupled with increasing smoke that at times pushed air quality into the unhealthy zone. Palo Alto's temperature soared to 108 degrees and Los Altos reached 107, according to The Weather Channel app.
Murdock said Sunday's high temperatures in Napa (110 degrees), Kentfield (108) and Gilroy (112) equaled all-time high readings in those cities for September.
Other record-setting high temperatures for the Sept. 6 date were registered in Richmond at 103 degrees, breaking the Sept. 6 record of 91 degrees set in 2004; in Livermore, with 111 degrees Sunday breaking the previous record for this date of 108 set in 1904; in downtown San Francisco, where Sunday's 100 degrees broke the record for this date, which was 92 in 1904; at the SFO airport, where 102 degrees Sunday was 8 degrees hotter than the previous high of 94 degrees set in 2004; Redwood City's Sunday high of 107 degrees, besting the 1958 record for this date at 100 degrees; in downtown Oakland, where Sunday's 102 degrees topped the previous record for this date of 95 set in 1979; in San Jose, where Sunday's reading of 105 degrees topped this date's previous record there of 100 degrees; in Santa Cruz, where Sunday's high was 102, higher than the 98 recorded in 2004; and in Salinas, where Sunday's high of 103 was six degrees hotter than the previous high for this date, in 2004.
The heat is expected to last into Wednesday or Thursday, Murdock said, when a marine layer is expected to develop, first cooling the coast areas in then moving east to inland areas. And while winds in most parts of the Bay Area were slight to nonexistent, that will change this week along with the temperatures. Especially inland, Murdock said, continued low humidity combined with stronger winds will increase fire danger.
Local air quality also reached unhealthful levels, including in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View, according to the Purple Air app.
Spare the Air alert extended through Wednesday
The murky haze of smoke and smog over the Bay Area is expected to linger for at least two more days and a Spare the Air alert has been extended through Wednesday, air district officials said Monday.
A record-breaking streak of Spare the Air alerts for the region is in its fourth week, with Tuesday and Wednesday the 22nd and 23rd consecutive days.
"The Labor Day weekend heat wave, combined with tailpipe exhaust and lingering wildfire smoke, is expected to cause unhealthy air quality in the region," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The air district urges residents to drive less and stay indoors to protect their health during smoggy and smoky days.
On Tuesday, light winds along with scorching inland temperatures and car exhaust are predicted to cause unhealthy smog, or ozone, accumulation in the Bay Area.
Through Wednesday, smoke from the Woodward Fire in Marin County and the August Complex in Mendocino County are expected to bring isolated areas of unhealthy air to areas of the North Bay, San Francisco, portions of the East Bay and potentially Vallejo.
It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Spare the Air Alert for particulate pollution.