Here comes the hot weather again: Another spring heat wave is expected to move into the Bay Area this week, baking riders and spectators at the Amgen Tour of California bike race on Tuesday and breaking records -- one of them a century old -- on Wednesday.
That spate of temperatures in the 90s last month? What's coming will surpass those marks and edge toward triple digits. An excessive heat watch for the area has been issued for Tuesday and Wednesday by the National Weather Service.
Tuesday's leg of the Amgen tour is likely to see cyclists traversing Mount Hamilton and Mount Diablo almost continuously reaching for their water bottles, while spectators will be slathering sunscreen and trying to find shade.
"We are going to see some records," weather service forecaster Diana Henderson said Sunday. Fire warnings in the region will be high, she said.
San Jose could see its record high of 94 degrees for May 14 -- set in 1905 -- broken with a top temperature of 96 expected Wednesday, Henderson said. A record high of 89 also is expected in San Francisco; that would break a record for that date set in 1922.
And that won't even be the expected regional high: Forecasts have Gilroy breaking triple digits with a high of 101, Henderson said. Triple-digit temperatures also are expected in King City and Hollister, with a high of 99 in both Livermore and Antioch.
If seeking relief is in your plans, cooling centers may be opened on unusually hot days, typically community centers, fairgrounds or public buildings like libraries, according to PG&E. Residents can also head for thecoast, where temperatures are expected to be about 15 degrees lower: 85 in Half Moon Bay and 89 in Monterey. At Point Reyes in Marin County, the high Wednesday will be 81 -- "pretty darn hot for there," Henderson said.
Sunday's moderate temperatures, breezy conditions and cloudless skies were the last mild weather the region will see until next weekend.
A high-pressure system will begin edging across the region Monday. It will "not allow the sea breeze to come in," Henderson said, "and force an offshore (air) flow that will heat things up."
By Saturday, though, seasonal temperatures are expected to return, and the marine layer will again shroud the coast, she said.
On Sunday morning in downtown Livermore, where the sidewalks were crowded and the temperature was in the 70s, the distant hills were already the scorched brown of August. At the city's "splash pad" fountain for children, kids soaked themselves and squealed.
Valeri Polioudakis watched her nephew play in the water and said the pad will be mobbed when the heat comes Wednesday.
"It's very popular," she said of the pad. "I came here two weeks ago when it was super-hot, and it was crazy. It's nice for the kids to have someplace to keep cool."
Around the corner on First Street, health food store owner Craig Van Der Kamp said he hoped shoppers would come out despite the hot weather. The city's redesign of the business district -- moving traffic away and planting trees -- should help.
"The improvements mean a lot when it's that hot," he said. "And it sounds like it's going to be brutally hot."
Is the second major heat wave of the spring just an extension of the state's record dry winter and drought and part of a larger weather cycle or another example of climate change?
It could be both, UC Berkeley chemistry and earth science professor Kristie Boering, who studies climate change, wrote in an email.
"Any one brief heat wave event, such as that predicted for the coming week, is really weather, not climate," she said. "It's the longer-term patterns that are more telling as to whether we should expect more of such heat waves in the Bay Area, or not, due to climate change."
But either way, it's going to be a hot week.
For Mary Moran, who sells fruit and grilled food at a roadside stand in San Jose, it means "drinking a lot of water" and taking more breaks, she said Sunday at her business on Commercial Place. She also said she expects the roasting weather to be good for business.
"People eat a lot of fruit when it's that hot," she said.