California City Hits Record for Most 100°f Days, and Summer Isn’t Finished

Sacramento, California, broke yet another record for hottest day in a year on Wednesday, when the thermometer registered a scorching 122 degrees Fahrenheit, one day after hitting the all-time high temperature record with Tuesday’s scorching 116 degrees Fahrenheit measurement.

The previous record for the most consecutive days with temperatures above 100°F was 41, set in 1998. Forecasts predict that Sacramento will see record-breaking heat this week, with highs of 111 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday and 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.

California city sets record for the most days over 100°F — and summer isn't over yet
California city sets record for the most days over 100°F — and summer isn’t over yet

On Wednesday, the city reached a high of 106 degrees Fahrenheit, marking the eighth day in a row in which the thermometer had above 100 degrees. By the end of the week, Sacramento will have broken a third record for the most consecutive days above 100 degrees.

Sacramento, the state capital, which is located in the central valley, was in the direct line of fire of the heat wave that has seized California since the weekend, with record temperatures being set practically every day.

Sacramento, California’s State Capitol.
The California State Capitol building can be found in Sacramento (Getty Images)
For the past week, residents of California have been putting the state’s electrical infrastructure to the test by running their air conditioners at maximum capacity in an effort to beat the record-breaking heat. The California power grid operator, the Independent System Operator, has issued a series of advisories warning of the potential for rolling blackouts due to the state’s high electrical consumption.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom congratulated residents for cutting energy use on Tuesday, the day Sacramento set a new record high temperature, but warned that disruptions were still possible.

People in California have stepped up in a major way to help out during this record heat wave, but we’re hitting record highs right now, so power outages are a real possibility. Newsom urged residents to “redouble our efforts to conserve energy” to ease the grid’s “record strain.” “We need everyone to do their part in the coming days and help California continue to meet this challenge,” the governor said.

Multiple studies have connected human-caused climate change, specifically the burning of fossil fuels, to the alarming increase in summertime temperatures. Wildfire risks are further exacerbated by the high temperatures since the landscape dries out much faster.

This week saw a number of fires break out around the state, including the Mosquito Fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Sacramento. Fire authorities said Thursday that more than 1,000 homes and other structures are threatened by the flames, which has grown in size as the region has been increasingly hot.

California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection claimed the blaze was in “very tough terrain,” which included steep canyons.

It looks like the warmest part of the summer is over for most of the state, but Saturday in Sacramento will bring welcome relief from the triple-digit heat with a high of only 89 degrees Fahrenheit. But summer doesn’t end officially until September 23, and climate change often defies predictions.