A statewide Flex Alert has been issued for Tuesday as a heat wave impacts California with blistering temperatures over the Labor Day weekend and beyond.
Tuesday's Flex Alert is the seventh consecutive day that the California Independent System Operator has called for voluntary electricity conservation during peak usage hours, from 4 to 10 p.m.
Advisories and warnings for hot weather for the Bay Area have been extended until Thursday evening by the National Weather Service. An excessive heat warning has been issued for the interior Bay Area, where high temperatures are forecast in the upper 90s to near 115. The region was expected see the hottest temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said. In Palo Alto, temperatures are estimated to reach 100 on Monday, 103 on Tuesday and the upper 90s on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
In response to the excessive temperatures, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is providing free rides to several cooling centers during the heat wave, officials said Monday.
Palo Alto's library branches are among the facilities serving as cooling centers along VTA routes in Santa Clara County.
"Just tell our operators, 'I need some A/C, let me off at the next cooling center please,'" VTA posted on Twitter Monday morning.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District extended a Spare the Air Alert through Tuesday due to the searing temperatures, which create the perfect setting for smog.
Air quality is expected to be unhealthy due to triple-digit temperatures combined with light winds and vehicle exhaust, air district officials said.
Residents should find alternatives to driving alone to help reduce smog, said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the air district.
"Tailpipe exhaust combines with heat and sunlight to create harmful smog. The public can protect their health by avoiding outdoor activities when temperatures and air pollution levels are highest," Landers said.
The air alerts are issued when ozone pollution, or smog, is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema, according to the air district.