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September 20, 2017
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Sizzling North Bay heat wave breaks records

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
September 8, 2017

Over Labor Day weekend the North Bay and Sonoma County saw broiling record breaking temperatures, prompting both cities of Rohnert Park and Cotati to open emergency cooling stations to help people escape the over 100-degree heat. 

According to AccuWeather temperature reports, Rohnert Park hit a high of 113, Sebastopol topped out at 111 and Santa Rosa broke their own record of 105 degrees with a 110-degree temperature read.

The scorching heat caused the Cotati Police Department to issue a health advisory Saturday morning. In a statement on Nixle, the department responded to the advisory, offering water and a 24-hour cooling station at their department. 

“For emergency cooling and bottled water, please respond to 203 W Sierra Ave,” the written statement said.

Cotati Chief of Police Michael Parish, said that while only one person came to use the cooling center, he was glad the department was able to provide the community a place to cool off if they wanted to.

“Only one person came but that’s one person that could get cooled,” Parish said. And when asked if this had been the hottest Cotati weather he has experienced so far he said, “This is definitely the hottest. This is my sixth summer being here and I’m from the Central Valley so I am used to the heat, but this is by far the hottest that I’ve seen.”

Parish also reminded citizens to make use of the Cotati Nixle reports so they have access to future announcements regarding community events or the opening of emergency shelters during wild weather spells.

The City of Rohnert Park offered the same shelter to its residents as well, opening the doors to their cooling center at the Community Center last Friday evening. 

During the holiday weekend PG&E even had extra crews standing by ready to respond to power outages throughout Sonoma County, according to press release sent by PG&E media spokesperson Deanna Contreras.

“PG&E meteorologists are forecasting one of the hottest stretches overall in the last twenty years to hit its service area. To fully support this weather event throughout its service area, PG&E will dedicate all its available resources to heat storm response,” the release said of the company’s plans to respond to weekend’s heat wave.

While there were few reported power outages, there were several fire throughout the state, which blanketed the Bay Area in a smoky haze.

According to Cal Fire, there are over 25 wildfires blazing across California. There are currently no fires in Sonoma County, however, the nearest fire is the 75- acre Ballybunion Fire in Gilroy that’s zero percent contained and the 7,200-acre South Fork Fire in Yosemite National Park.

Lynnette Round, Cal Fire information and education officer said that even though temperatures may start to drop slightly the high pressure sitting over Northern California may continue to create smoky skies.

“Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler, but still well above normal throughout the region… and overnight recoveries will be poor to moderate at only 20-30 percent in the driest locations. Overall, relatively poor smoke dispersion with poor air quality in canyons and valleys near and downward of active fires will continue, but there should be some improvement for many areas,” Round said.

During the heat, Cal Fire urges Californians to keep a fire extinguisher always at the ready and to never park your car near dry grass as heat from the exhaust pipe can cause fires.

However, according to weather.com, Rohnert Park temperatures will start to cool down to the low 80s and high 70s.