By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Torrid triple-digit temperatures are forecast to bake Bakersfield and Kern County this weekend.
The mercury will hover around 110 degrees in the Bakersfield area Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday being the hottest day. James Brotherton, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Hanford office, characterized the weather outlook as "pretty warm, pretty toasty."
Kern County residents can find out when local cooling centers are open by visiting www.co.kern.ca.us/pio/coolingcenters.asp.
They can also call the Kern County Parks and Recreation Department at 868-7000 and dial 1 or Kern County Aging and Adults Services at 800-510-2020 during business hours.
Compounding searing daytime temperatures, overnight lows will only dip to the low 80s.
"We're not going to get that recovery that we like to see at night," Brotherton said.
A large dome of high pressure expanding across the southwest will bring heat to California, Arizona and Nevada, the meteorologist said. The normal temperature for Bakersfield this time of year is 97 degrees, Brotherton said. The city's record high for Saturday is 111.
Higher elevations won't offer much relief from the heat. Lake Isabella's expected Saturday high is 109 degrees and Tehachapi's temperature will hang around 100 this weekend. Desert highs around 113 are forecast for Ridgecrest, Mojave and Rosamond.
The heat is predicted to last for the next seven days. Temperatures are expected to return to their normal realm in the upper 90s in the middle of next week, Brotherton said.
Until the swelter subsides, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. recommended residents seek shelter in the county's cooling centers or plan trips to the movies, libraries or other public places with air conditioning. The National Weather Service advised people to drink lots of water, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day.
To save energy, set air conditioners at 78 degrees or higher when at home and 85 when you are out of the house, PG&E said. The utility also recommended closing windows and blinds to keep in cooler air from the early morning and night. Try cooking with a stove or microwave or grilling outside on hot days, and avoid using an electric oven.