Ready to sizzle

The Climate Prediction Center says there is a better-than-equal chance for above-average temps across much of the West, including much of interior California, over the next three months.

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.

The hills are dry and pretty soon the mountains will be, too. Already, there have been a couple of scary fires around here. And this ain’t Redding, where fires are as inevitable as the month of July.

Take it from the Redding guy: This could be a scorching – a downright dangerous — summer.

A Daihatsu Charade, in case you were wondering. But mine was blue.


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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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