San Mateo, CA

‘San Mateo hits melting record-high Spring temperatures,’ scientists warm

Jano le Roux

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High winds gusted to more than 60 mph in several areas of the Bay Area on Monday and Tuesday, but there were no disruption or power outages.

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Tuesday morning, a wind warning for the hills and San Mateo coast was lifted. Fire risk remained low thanks to recent rainfall, amid the temperatures and strong winds, meteorologists said.

Strong winds buffeted the Bay Area’s higher elevations before subsiding Tuesday afternoon.

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Early Tuesday morning, wind speeds of 44 mph were reported at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the Diablo Mountain range and Rose Peak in Alameda County in the East Bay. Gusts of up to 62 mph were reported on higher peaks including Mount Saint Helena and Mount Diablo.

National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass said, “For the most part, the winds have stayed in the highest elevations.” “We have not received any reports of noticeable damage from these winds across the greater San Francisco Bay area.”

At lower elevations in the Bay Area, peak wind levels approached 35 mph. Gusts of up to 60 mph were reported in some areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Dry weather and above-average temperatures were predicted to last for the rest of the week, with daytime highs in the low to mid-70s across most of the Bay Area on Tuesday. According to the weather service, afternoon temperatures were forecast to be 10 to 15 degrees above normal averages.

The effects of climate change on the Bay Area:

  • From 1950 to 2005, the average annual mean temperature in the Bay Area rose by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius).
    Several reports show that coastal fog along the California coast, which is so important to our Bay Area atmosphere, is becoming less common.
  • In the last 100 years, the Bay Area’s sea level has increased more than 20 centimeters (8 inches), and the strong 2015–16 El Niño, one of the three strongest on record, culminated in winter wave energy in the Bay Area that was more than half that of a normal winter, causing unprecedented outer coast beach erosion.
  • The California drought from 2012 to 2016 resulted in the worst precipitation shortages in 1,200 years and a one-in-500-year low in Sierra snowpack. The historic low snowpack from 2012 to 2016 cost the state $2.1 billion in economic losses and 21,000 workers in the agriculture and leisure industries, exacerbating a long-term pattern of groundwater overdraft.

Despite the doom and gloom, a study highlights 15 initiatives that are currently underway to counter these challenges in the Bay, as well as calls for more climate-friendly projects in the future. The Bay Area Regional Reliability Initiative, for example, is a joint collaboration between the region’s major water organizations to create a regional approach to enhance water source reliability for over 6 million people and thousands of companies and industries.

Sea level rise in San Francisco Bay is expected to rise 36 inches by 2100, well above the Bay’s historic growth of 0.9 inches per decade during the twentieth century. According to the National Research Council, sea levels in our area could rise by 16 to 66 inches. Owing to wind variations in the eastern Pacific, sea level increase along the West Coast has been slowed over the past 30 years. The current cold period, which is linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), might keep sea levels down for another decade or so, but then temperatures could skyrocket.

Particularly modest amounts of sea-level increase may have a major effect on urban environments and coastal wetlands in the San Francisco Estuary, considering the extent of urbanization in the Bay Area and the gentle gradients spreading from the Bay to settlements and vulnerable ecosystems.

In the event of a 55-inch increase in sea level, an estimated 270,000 residents in the Bay Area, as well as $62 billion in shoreline projects and facilities, would be flooded. The long-term feasibility of wetland conservation programs in the Suisun, San Pablo, and South San Francisco Bays may even be jeopardized.

Wednesday was expected to be the hottest day of the year, with highs in the mid-80s in San Francisco and the inland valleys likely approaching the 90s.

According to meteorologists, the area will continue to cool off on Thursday, heading to more normal levels, with a possibility of rain early next week.

Photo Credits:

Photo by Daoudi Aissa on Unsplash

Photo by Luis Graterol on Unsplash

Photo by Hari Panicker on Unsplash

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

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