For most of my life, Redding was just a pit stop on the way to Oregon — a place where you’d pump your gas and get the heck out of there, before your shoes started sticking to the pavement.
Then I was hired at the Record Searchlight. Into the furnace, I went. I spent the summer of 1999 sputtering about Shasta County in my aptly named Daihatsu Charade, which had no torque, no leg room and no air conditioning.
As if 118-degree heat wasn’t enough, part of my job was to cover wildfires. So rather than escaping the heat, the Daihatsu and I actually sought out additional heat.
This went on a few years. By the time I moved to Stockton — a place I would have considered intolerably hot as a Benicia boy – I’d deemed myself a grizzled veteran of extreme heat, a distinction I’ve claimed ever since.
Seeing as I fancy myself marginally qualified, let’s speculate about this summer.
If forecasts are correct, Saturday will be the hottest day in Stockton since August 2010. We are about to experience our earliest seasonal triple-digit heat since 2009. (Granted, June triple-digit heat is not unusual and the last three years have been strangely mild.)
Still, the Climate Prediction Center says interior California could see warmer-than-normal temperatures over the next 3 months.
Take it from the Redding guy: This could be a scorching – a downright dangerous — summer.