SAN FRANCISCO -- Summer doesn't officially begin for another month. But this weekend and into early next week, it's going to feel a lot like summertime in the Bay Area.
After a string of mild temperatures recently and even a few rainy days, Northern California is about to heat up and dry out, with temperatures in the Bay Area expected to climb from the 80s on Saturday to the 90s on Memorial Day to 100 degrees in a few inland areas by Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters say.
"This will be the hottest that we've seen so far this year," said Rick Canepa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. "All the precautions will be in effect. Keep properly hydrated, stay in the shade, look after the elderly and pets, that sort of thing. There's some risk to sensitive populations."
The cause: A ridge of high pressure that will park over California from Saturday until at least Wednesday, forecasters say.
"It's going to cut off the sea breeze and squish out the marine layer," said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Half Moon Bay. "That's our natural air conditioning. When it goes away we warm up."
Temperatures Saturday are expected to stay in the 70s along the coast, and hit highs in the mid-80s in Santa Clara County and the East Bay. On Sunday, they will warm up to the high 80s in the South and East Bay, rising again Monday to the mid-90s in those areas, before topping out Wednesday at a forecasted 95 in San Jose, 98 in Livermore, 100 in Concord and 104 in Stockton and Modesto.
The warming trend should ease starting Thursday, forecasters say, with some chance of rain early the following week. Even during the hottest day, Wednesday, temperatures on the coast will stay significantly cooler, in the high 70s and low 80s.
"People are going to want to get outside," Null said. "You are going to have issues at beaches, because parking lots are still closed at most coastal beaches."
To be sure, beach access around the Bay Area remains limited due to the coronavirus pandemic and county health officers' efforts to reduce the risk of large crowds that could spread COVID-19. County officials cannot stop residents from traveling between counties. But rangers and police officers along the coast can -- and have been -- writing tickets for illegal parking, accessing closed parks, congregating in crowds and other violations.
The availability of beaches varies by location.