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.
Low temperatures Sunday night into Monday morning were expected to range from the upper 60s closer to the ocean and bay, to the upper 70s in the more easterly inland reaches of the Bay Area, Murdock said. High temperatures on Monday are expected to be a few degrees cooler than the Bay Area's sweltering temperatures recorded Sunday.
That 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.
Smoky conditions are expected to remain for at least the next few days, with wind speeds likely to remain low. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said that, as of 7 p.m. Sunday, air quality in the South Bay and in the East Bay beyond the Caldecott Tunnel and the Dublin Hills is
"unhealthy," with readings in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" category in parts of the East Bay around Oakland and in the North Bay. Only in San Francisco, northern San Mateo County and in the Santa Cruz Mountains was the air considered of "moderate" quality, the air district said.
The smoke around the Bay Area, Murdock said, has been in the area for several days. It is unlikely that smoke from the Creek Fire in the Fresno area has made it to the Bay Area, and that local smoke from the various fires in the past two weeks closer to the Bay Area continues to impact the region's air quality.