California on Fire

During the last day of Labor Day weekend, California was hit by a massive heat wave. Temperatures reached 110 degrees or higher in a number of different Bay Area cities. This was caused by a heat dome over the western part of the U.S. that completely messed up our power grid.

California’s state capital of Sacramento tied a heat record Tuesday, with its 41st day of high temperatures reaching at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit . There was a chance the city would break its all-time high temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit set in 1925, according to the National Weather Service. Heat domes increase as global temperatures increase over the years. A heat dome occurs when a persistent region of high pressure traps hot ocean air over an area. Heat domes usually last up to 1-2 weeks. 

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

 This can explain why California had such extreme temperatures. With high temperatures rising, so does the need for air conditioning. Unfortunately, this strains our power grids. Some areas had controlled power and wifi outages due to avoid a system wide blackout. About 800,000 homes and businesses had their power cut off for anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, said Scientific American Newspaper.

In an unprecedented move, Santa Barbara School District informed staff and families that minimum days and release days will be issued when the temperatures are too high for school. For example, when temperature and humidity levels are 82 or higher we would have a regular school day. When temperature and humidity levels are 83 to 92, we would have a regular school day but with modified physical activity. Lastly, when temperature and humidity levels are 96 or above, outdoor activities will be postponed and a minimum day would be scheduled. 

“I’m glad they are adding minimum days especially with PE,” said San Marcos sophomore Sarah Vico. “It’s really difficult, I’m glad they are acknowledging students safety during this heat.”

Hotter days are becoming more common with global warming on the rise. Heatwaves are becoming more intense and frequent affecting many of the residents of California.