Water-safety message accompanies rising Bay Area temperatures – Santa Cruz Sentinel

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Those who weren’t a fan of the warmer temperatures this week might be pleased to hear that Bay Area temperatures are forecast to drop steadily over the weekend.

But if you’re looking for a quicker cooldown, be careful about dipping into rivers near the Sierra Nevada, as rapidly melting snow might create dangerous swift water.

Dial Hong, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said that temperatures are expected to cool this weekend. On Friday afternoon, Hong said, clear skies will be seen throughout most of the Bay Area. Coastal regions will see more cooling first, with high temperatures expected to reach the mid- to upper-60s.

Santa Cruz was expected to reach 74 on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The highs in downtown San Francisco were forecast to reach 76 degrees, with Oakland slightly warmer at about 81 degrees, San Jose was forecast to peak at 87 degrees and the highs in areas around Livermore and Concord were predicted to range around the upper 80s to lower 90s.

Overnight lows were expected to reach the lower 50s near the coast and the mid- to upper 50s inland.

Hong said more clouds were expected to form along the coast this weekend, with temperatures continuing to drop around the Bay. However, inland areas, such as the South Bay and the interior East Bay, were expected to remain warm. High temperatures on Saturday were expected to reach 71 in San Francisco and 78 in Oakland, with temperatures approaching Friday’s highs in San Jose and the interior East Bay.

On Sunday, temperatures are expected to continue to cool by a few degrees almost everywhere, Hong said. Cities along the coast can expect highs in the 60s, with San Jose and the interior East Bay sliding down to more comfortable highs in the mid- to upper 80s.

In the Sierra Nevada, temperatures range from the 70s around 6,000 feet to mid- to upper-50s at 7,000 feet, said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Kurth. According to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the higher temperatures can lead to snow melt and a risk of swift water, which is defined as water flowing faster than 1 knot, or 1.15 mph.

“If it’s warm, we’re going to see melting,” Kurth said.

Kurth said that, because of the higher temperatures, there is a concern that people will head to rivers or streams near the Sierra Nevada and surrounding foothills for recreation, unaware of the risk. He said that the swift water could endanger people who are boating, swimming or fishing.

Even strong swimmers could be swept downstream due to the cold water and strong currents, Kurth said; he advised that people avoid swimming altogether.

Hong said that people swimming in these waters might risk contracting cold water shock or hypothermia. He encouraged people to wear wetsuits or drysuits and always wear a life jacket if they’re doing any water activities near the Sierra Nevada.

Three-day forecast

Here is the three-day forecast for the Santa Cruz region from the National Weather Service.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Calm wind becoming west southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Saturday night, patchy fog after 3 a.m. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 49. West southwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Light and variable wind becoming west 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon. Sunday night, Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. Monday night, partly cloudy, with a low around 48.

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