Wisteria as seen in West Berkeley, March 2022. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

Bountiful jasmine and wisteria blooms are spinning their fragrance into the air and the bright, longer days feel distinctly summery, but this week’s heat won’t be the start of consistently warm weather in Berkeley.

Berkeley and the Bay Area are seeing a short-lived heat wave this week and temperatures are expected to reach their peak on Thursday, with a high of 88 degrees in Berkeley and reaching the 90s in nearby inland areas. Residents are advised to stay hydrated and take breaks when outside.

Sarah McCorkle, meteorologist at National Weather Service, said those temperatures will cool off considerably over the weekend and return to more seasonable temperatures for early spring. That changing weather system could also bring rain in mid-April, but McCorkle said it’s too early to know for sure.

The National Weather Service said to be careful of large swells and sneaker waves if residents head to the beach during the warm weather event.

Thankfully, Thursday’s heat won’t be accompanied by strong winds that can increase fire risk. Dry fuel could still ignite when temperatures are high, but the NWS doesn’t anticipate a Red Flag Warning with this week’s heat episode.

Though the Bay Area received a historic rainstorm in October and more rain in December, the region is still 9-10 inches below rainfall averages this year. McCorkle said much more rain is needed this year to keep fuels moist and avoid fires.

“[October’s storm] helped in the short term, but unfortunately [totals] bounced back to lower values,” McCorkle said. “It doesn’t help in the overall grand scheme of the drought. We need a few more seasons of really good rain to make up for that drought.”

Featured photo credit Ned Fielden

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...