I hope everyone in the Bay Area managed to survive, or avoid, the record-breaking Labor Day weekend heatwave from hell. I do my best to write newsletters every once in a while that aren’t about the weather. But it was astonishing to look at the weather map on Friday and see that downtown San Francisco was hotter than our farm.
Hot weather is something we spend a lot of time managing for up here. We start work at sunrise and quit before the hottest time of day. We schedule around the weather, planning in advance to avoid certain tasks on the hottest days. And of course, everyone’s home is air conditioned as is every business.
In the Central Valley, we consider 85 degrees to be a cool summer day. But even for us farmers who are acclimated to working in the heat, 105 degrees is too hot to do much of anything. So it’s hard to imagine what this weekend must have been like for urbanites in the Bay Area who are accustomed to temperatures in the 60 and 70s. Even though hurricanes have been getting all the press lately, heat waves are the most fatal form of extreme weather in the U.S. on average.
From the second wettest California winter on record to the hottest summer, this year has been all about extremes. And Hurricane Irma, while it’s not our problem, seems to be continuing the trend. At this point, we’re just looking forward to 2017 being over and hoping everyone gets out of it without too much more damage.