Bay Area residents shed some layers and flocked to beaches and pools on Tuesday, as record high temperatures hit the region. In San Francisco, afternoon highs peaked at 90 degrees, shattering the previous record for May 13, which was set in 1927. But it was even hotter in the South Bay; San Jose’s Reid-Hillview Airport recorded a high of 97, according to the San Francisco Chronicle — the highest temperature in the Bay Area.
The intense heat isn’t helping air quality in the region. On Tuesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a third consecutive Spare the Air alert for Wednesday due to a combination of low winds and high levels of ozone (aka smog).
The heat wave is expected to stick around for another day. Forecasters expect temperatures to hover in the mid-90s in parts of Santa Clara County, and parts of Contra Costa County are likely to hit the 100-degree mark on Wednesday.
A long line formed in front of Mission Community Pool just before the doors opened at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The small lap pool is the city’s only outdoor public pool, and the lanes were clogged with swimmers by noon.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this busy,” said Rebecca Suval as she applied sunscreen next to the pool. Suval, a San Francisco native, comes to the pool regularly, especially on hot days.
For those who didn’t have to report to work Tuesday morning, the heat wave provided a good excuse to get out of the house and soak in some rays. Dirk Wyse, a local photographer, found a spot to sunbathe on a patch of grass at Sue Bierman Park, along the Embarcadero.
“I do mostly nightlife photography — that’s why I’m able to be out here today,” Wyse said.
Temperatures were slightly lower at Tilden Regional Park in the East Bay, but it was still warm enough to attract dozens of people to Lake Anza, one of the area’s most popular beaches.
The surrounding Berkeley-Oakland hills are already starting to turn brown, indicating the high level of fire danger. “The fuels are amazingly dry for what we normally expect this time of year,” Contra Costa County Fire Marshal Robert Marshall told ABC 7 News. “Usually the fuel moistures are about 20 points higher than what they are right now.”
Relief isn’t far off. The heat is expected to subside on Thursday, when temperatures will likely drop by about 10 degrees. And by Friday, more typical weather — highs in the low 70s — should return.