Watch CBS News

September Sizzle: Are Sacramento Summers Getting Hotter and Longer?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — No matter how ready some may be for fall, Sacramento is feeling the heat this week with triple-digit temperatures in September.

Sacramentans like Rob hit the outdoor gym early, working out before the temperature hits over a hundred.

"You just get dizzy—and you know, it's not healthy," he said, not surprised that the summer heat is lingering into September. "I've been telling people for years it doesn't cool off until November in Sacramento."

The hot days, at times, blur together for some people.

"I can't even remember it's September," one Sacramento woman told CBS13. "To me, it's just a day and it's going to be over 100."

But climate experts say for years, the extreme heat and summer season is sticking around for longer.

"This is a new normal in some sense of what we're anticipating here in California," said Paul Ullrich, a UC Davis Associate Professor of Regional and Global Climate Modeling Climatology.

He said this new normal is fueled by the way we're getting precipitation.

"It basically means we're getting roughly the same amount - in a relatively shorter period," Ullrich said. "As a consequence, we get more intense precipitation events, and a more prolonged dry season."

But just how many more days of extreme heat (days above 104 degrees) could we see for years to come? Ullrich said if trends continue, we could see as many as 40 days of extreme heat per year. For comparison, there tend to be about 6 to 10 days of extreme heat annually. Before the year 2000, Ullrich that number was as low as 4 to 5 days.

"More days above 100 degrees is a common thing - the fires have been exploding," said Andrew Kneip of Sacramento, who's noticing the differences in climate each year. "The big reason is the heat."

Kneip is among the many hoping for a solution as the dry heat fuels fires, leaves lake levels low and keeps people indoors.

Experts, like Ullrich, said long-term - it could completely transform the Northern California forests many people have come to know and love.

"If you look in the hills of Bakersfield, for instance," he said. "That's the future we can anticipate in Northern California forests if climate change continues unabated."

The lingering summer sun continues to prompt concerns from many people, as communities feel the heat amid an ever-changing climate. Climate experts say the extreme heat not only impacts our planet, but can impact community health, too.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.