Anyone who is dreading a return of 100+-degree temperatures in San Francisco should brace for it to happen again, maybe even this fall. Experts continue to want to be careful to attribute any single weather event to the larger, much more complex process of climate change, but the writing is on the wall: The Bay Area is getting hotter.
Local residents who have long clung to the reliability of Karl the Fog to chill down any summer afternoon or evening, and to the generally temperate, "Mediterranean" weather patterns in and around San Francisco year-round, could be in for some more long-suffering nights like the ones they had and lamented about on social media all Labor Day Weekend long.
The New York Times reports on the weird weather that was seen across California this past weekend, noting that this has indeed been the state's hottest summer on record so far. These events included a "microburst" storm in Santa Barbara on Sunday "which involves a shaft of cold air plunging to the earth and fanning out in all directions," and which resulted in the utter chaos of flying umbrellas and screaming on an area beach that you can see in the video below.
And of course SF's unprecedented, record-setting heatwave of Friday and Saturday becomes another weather oddity to chalk up to a likely consequence of climate change. Says UCLA climate scientist Dr. Daniel Swain to the Times, "It makes more sense to ask whether global warming made an event more likely. And in the case of an unprecedented extreme heat wave, the answer these days is usually yes."
Alison Bridger, professor of meteorology at San Jose State University, spoke to NBC Bay Area about her belief that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will continue changing our local weather. "We haven’t finished changing yet," Bridger said. "We have a ridge of high pressure that sat over us, giving us these very warm temperatures. It’s been stronger than average and more importantly it hasn’t moved."
She suggests radical changes in the way we consume energy have to take place, and she also connects severe hurricanes like Harvey and now Irma to this overall global pattern.
San Francisco set an overall all-time high-temperature record on Friday, September 1 which was 106 degrees. The city then broke the record for September 2, previously set in 1991 (94 degrees), when the high hit 102, and it hit 104 at SFO.
Here are all the other Bay Area records broken on Saturday, which included 112-degree temperatures in Calistoga and Gilroy, both of those all-time highs for the month of September.
King City, in Monterey County, also had an all-time record-breaker on Saturday: 115 degrees. The all-time high there had been set in 1955, and that was 113 degrees.
Today's high (Tuesday 9/5) was supposed to be 78 degrees in SF, but Weather Underground already has it hitting 87 in Bernal Heights and 85 in Chinatown.
Sunday, September 10 is also shaping up to be a warm one, but it may be too soon to say how warm. And you can expect sunny, very balmy days all week along, with blessedly cooler nights hovering around 60 degrees (but tonight it's still expected to be 66 degrees at 10 p.m.).
Previously: Scorching Hot Labor Day Weekend Ahead