SANTA CLARA, Calif. - KPIX- Santa Clara County health officials on Wednesday confirmed that two San Jose residents died on Monday due to heat-related conditions during the ongoing heat wave gripping the Bay Area.
Both people — a 72-year-old male and an 87-year-old female — died on Monday, June 19, during one of the warmest days of the recent hot spell.
“It is tragic when someone dies of hyperthermia, since in most every case it could have been prevented,” said Dr. Michelle Jorden with the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.
“Hyperthermia and heat stress happen when a body’s heat-regulation system cannot handle the heat,” explained Jorden. “It can happen to anyone, which it is why it is so important to be in a cool location, drink plenty of water and take a cool bath or shower if you are getting too hot.”
County officials warned that precautions should be taken during the hot weather, especially true for individuals who participate in outdoor activities, older adults, caretakers of infants and children, individuals with chronic conditions including a drug or alcohol disorder, those living outside, and those sensitive to the heat.
The heat wave began this weekend with temperatures first spiking across the Bay Area on Saturday, June 17.
High temperatures set new records in nine San Francisco Bay Area locations on Sunday, June 18, according to National Weather Service officials.
In San Rafael, the temperature reached 105 degrees, breaking the record of 98 degrees set in 1962.
It was 106 degrees in Livermore where the previous record was 105 in 1918.
It was 103 degrees in Kentfield, one degree higher than the previous record set in 1945.
The temperature in Richmond reached 92 degrees, breaking the old record of 85 in 1957.
In San Francisco, the temperature rose to 88 degrees, which broke the record of 86 degrees set in 1993.
In San Jose, the temperature reached 103 degrees, breaking the old record of 99 in 1945.
And the hot weather is set to continue at least through Thursday evening.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area through Thursday night. The weather service had previously extended a heat advisory for the region until 9 p.m. Thursday.
High temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday are forecast to range from 90 to 105 degrees across most inland areas with locally hotter temperatures possible.
Overnight cooling will provide some relief but nighttime lows are forecast only to drop into the upper 50s and 60s for most inland areas.
For communities in the thermal belt at higher elevations, expect warmer overnight lows in the lower to mid 70s.
Electric customers across California were being told to conserve electricity because of the heat wave.
The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the operation of the state’s bulk electric system, transmission lines and electricity market, has issued a statewide Flex Alert, or a call for voluntary electricity conservation.
CAISO officials said they’re expecting the highest amount of energy use statewide in ten years over the next several days.
Electric customers are urged to conserve electricity from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the heat wave.
Parts of the Bay Area, particularly the East Bay, have already been experiencing weather related power outages. On Sunday, over 40,000 PG&E customers were without power across the East and South Bay. On Tuesday, there were over 10,000 customers without power during a peak outage.
Conservation is especially recommended during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are typically at peak use, CAISO official said.
According to CAISO officials, electric customers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 2 p.m. or after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.
During times of higher temperatures, demand on the power grid can be strained as air conditioner use increases. Peak usage for Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to exceed 47,000 megawatts each day in the CAISO service territory, which serves roughly 80 percent of the state’s electricity customers, CAISO officials said.