Berkeley is expected to experience a short heat event this week.

The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures of 86 degrees Wednesday and 87 on Thursday in Berkeley. A heat advisory is in place from 11 a.m. Wednesday through 11 p.m. Thursday. 

A Spare the Air Alert, issued when concentrations of ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy, is also in place for Thursday. (AirNow is forecasting moderate levels of particle pollution in Berkeley Wednesday and Thursday, and recommends that people who are “unusually sensitive” consider shortening the amount of time spent active outdoors.) 

Residents are advised to stay hydrated during the heat wave, stay in an air-conditioned room when possible, check up on relatives and neighbors, and reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening if possible. If you must work outside, the weather service says, you should take frequent breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, and look out for symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Crystal Oudit, a meteorologist at the NWS Bay Area, said the heat event is being driven by a high pressure system moving over the area. 

Due to the presence of light offshore winds, Berkeley and Oakland will be spared from the hottest temps (some parts of the Bay Area are anticipating “possibly record-breaking” heat in the high 90s). The record high temperature for Oct. 19 at the NWS’ official monitoring station at the Oakland Museum was 91 degrees in 2022.

NWS forecasts show overnight lows are forecast to stay in the mid 60s in Oakland and Berkeley, above the usual mid-to-high 50s this time of year. “That’s another reason why we have a heat advisory out,” Oudit said. 

A red flag warning, issued when fire risk is high, is not currently in place, as conditions are not expected to be excessively dry or windy. Vegetation around the Bay Area still holds moisture from recent rains, also reducing fire risk. 

In case you case you’re hoping to escape the heat by heading to the beach, you’ll want to be especially careful of sneaker waves — large swells that can surge dozens of feet higher than expected and can drag beachgoers into the ocean — and rip currents. The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for the area along the Pacific Ocean coast.

Featured photo: Clara Mokri

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Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...