Heat Advisory in effect until Friday afternoon

By Heather Bailey, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, June 16, 2021

nws heat advisory

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Heat Advisory for Sonoma County beginning Wednesday, June 16 at 11 a.m.

According to the NWS, temperatures are increasing later this week, onshore winds will keep the coast cooler, but starting Wednesday inland areas are expected to see rising temperatures. A Heat Advisory has been issued from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 1 p.m. Friday. The hottest days of the week will be Thursday and Friday.

Farthest inland areas and highest elevations will see their Heat Advisory upgraded to an Excessive Heat Warning as temperatures approach and exceed 100°F, with other areas still in heat advisory.

The County of Sonoma Department of Health Services also issued a Heat Alert in response to the NWS alert. The predicted weather conditions can cause heat stroke and worsen chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death. Sonoma County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Kismet Baldwin urged residents to take simple steps to stay cool and help prevent heat-related illnesses.

“Extreme heat can pose dangers, but there are many things we can do to reduce heat-related problems,” said Dr. Baldwin. “While summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone, including young, healthy people, those most at risk include older adults, young children and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart, breathing or lung conditions.”

To protect yourself and your family when the weather is very hot, follow the tips below:

  • Never leave anyone including children and pets in a parked car, even briefly. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes.
  • Use air-conditioning to cool down or go to an air-conditioned building such as a mall or movie theater. Check indoor mask requirements for the public space you will be visiting.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Beat the heat with cool showers and baths.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible. When possible, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and take regular breaks from physical activity.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to help keep cool.
  • Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g., straw or mesh) when in the sun and even if it is cloudy.
  • Be aware that some medicines affect the body’s ability to sweat and stay cool, including antihistamines, antidepressants, over-the-counter sleeping pills, anti-diarrhea pills, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs and psychiatric drugs. Do not stop taking medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  • Check on your neighbors such as the elderly or those in poor health to see if they need assistance.

“As always, during emergency times we must continue to look out for one another,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “Keep in close contact with family, friends and neighbors who are medically fragile or work outdoors. It’s important to remind one another to seek shade, drink water and get medical assistance if signs of heat fatigue become prevalent.”

For those experiencing homelessness, the Coordinated Entry System is available to offer shelter, services and housing. The program prioritizes those who are most in need of assistance and provides crucial information that helps communities strategically allocate resources and identify gaps in service. Sonoma County’s Coordinated Entry system employs a Housing First model that prioritizes individuals and families facing the highest vulnerability and needs for permanent, supportive housing. Contact Coordinated Entry Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at: (866) 542-5480 or email CE@srcharities.org

For more information about keeping cool in the summer heat, visit the County Emergency information website: www.socoemergency.org/heat or call 211.

Despite the heat, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) reported that it isn’t planning on any public safety power shutoffs.

“If the elevated heat leads to outages, PG&E has a plan to address any issues that come from the high temperatures and crews monitoring the situation are ready to respond. We encourage customers to be prepared, stay cool and hydrated and practice safety by developing an emergency plan and checking in on neighbors,” PG&E said in a statement.

The California Independent Operator (CAISO), which runs the state’s grid, issued a heat bulletin on Friday, June 11. “Although no outages or other power disruptions are anticipated right now,” CAISO says, it issued the bulletin “to prepare the public for possible stressed grid conditions caused by extreme hot weather.”  CAISO has told all generators to defer maintenance next Wednesday to Friday. To review tips on conserving energy and sign up for notifications from CAISO, visit FlexAlert.org.

Although we do not anticipate initiating any Public Safety Power Shutoff events over the next seven days, being prepared remains important. For more tips on how to stay safe and save energy, visit pge.com/summer.,” PG&E said in a statement.

Updates on weather conditions are available from the National Weather Service www.weather.gov.

This article was produced by SoCoNews. See more news at soconews.org