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Scorching heat shatters North Coast records


Blistering heat baked the North Coast Sunday afternoon, shattering temperature records across the county for a second day and sending residents indoors to avoid the scorching sun or outside to seek relief at local pools, rivers and beaches.

In what was expected to be the hottest day of the recent heat wave, the mercury peaked at 109 in Cloverdale, 106 in Santa Rosa and 99 in Petaluma, all records going back decades, according to the U.S. Weather Service.

Slightly lower temperatures, in the lows 90s for Santa Rosa, were forecast for Monday, but the heat is going to hang around through the rest of the week.

“There will be some relief, I don’t think it’s anything substantial for you, unfortunately,” said Alyson Hoegg, a meteorologist from Accuweather.

The temperatures sent Andrew Leonard out early Sunday morning looking to purchase an air conditioner for his Chanate Road-area home, to no avail. Trips to several area big box retailers found them sold out, he said.

“This is definitely hotter weather than we’re used to,” said Leonard, who works as a community engagement office for Sonoma County. “To have this many consecutive days of consistent heat is definitely difficult.”

On his way back from his fruitless errand, Leonard said he drove past the unusual sight of sidewalks buckled upward by the heat. The combination of thin concrete and ineffective joints meant that when the material expanded, the sections of sidewalk pushed against one another and raised several inches off the ground, he said.

“I thought ‘This is amazing. This is crazy,’” he said.

Leonard said his wife eventually picked up a small air conditioner on her way back from San Francisco, but for real relief they pair planned to head down to their association’s pool.

Watching a movie in a cool, air-conditioned theater was the perfect antidote to the heat wave for many others on Sunday.

“This is the place to be,” said Peggy Gable of Windsor who was walking in to see the film “Megan Leavey.” “It’s too hot to be anywhere else.”

John Cole and his wife Martha of Santa Rosa said they wouldn’t usually go to a movie on a Sunday, except to escape the heat.

“It’s this or the mall,” he said. “This is more comfortable.”

The heat apparently took a toll on the number of entrants to the “Show and Shine” car show at Juilliard Park.

Organizer John Bly said that about 80 of the classic cars scheduled to enter did not show up.

“It’s probably due to the weather,” he said. Some car owners “actually said the heat affects their paint job,” he said.

While the grass and shade provided some respite from the heat at the show, Bly noted that the biggest lines were for shaved ice and ice cream.

The National Weather Service has a heat advisory in effect through 9 p.m. Thursday.

Officials stressed the need to remain hydrated, and to take extra steps to ensure that the elderly, children, and pets are safe.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the high 80s to mid-90s through Friday. But a cooling trend hits the North Coast next weekend bringing high temperatures down to the low 80s and upper 70s.