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Forecasters say triple digits could stick around all month in San Joaquin Valley

 The sun sets along the San Joaquin River in Fresno, Calif. Forecasters say triple digit temperatures will remain through the month of Juluy.
Aracely Rodriguez
The sun sets along the San Joaquin River in Fresno, Calif.

FRESNO, Calif. – As temperatures climbed to 105 degrees this week, the Manchester Transit Center in central Fresno had a steady stream of late afternoon riders.

The bus is the main source of transportation for Helen Hamilton, but the heat has made it difficult to get by as she battles respiratory conditions through muggy and hot air.

“It’s not fun,” Hamilton said.

Others shared their displeasure.

“It's unbearable,” said Christina Moreno, with a frown, as she boarded a bus.

Another rider, Kevin Zimmerman, said the heat makes it hard to travel.

“I feel tired and hot, but I'm doing the best I can. I have some water with me,” Zimmerman said, sweat dripping from his hat.

A relentless heat wave is expected to last in the San Joaquin Valley through July. Temperatures have come close to breaking daily records, topping out at 108 in recent days.

But even if they don’t break records, forecasters said temperatures will stay above normal.

“The heat’s not really going anywhere, just some minor fluctuations,” Jim Bagnall, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Hanford, said.

Bagnall said a high-pressure ridge over California will keep temperatures over 100 degrees for July.

If the forecast holds, it could spell one of the longest heat waves in the Valley.

In Kings County, excessive heat has disrupted plans for the Tachi Yokut Tribe to hold a cultural and educational event at Tulare Lake.

The Santa Rosa Rancheria’s cultural department organized a “Pa’ashi Celebration” that was scheduled for July 22. The event was postponed until further notice.

The event would have been held outside by the lake and was scheduled to feature presentations, song and dance.

Fresno County libraries are serving as cooling centers during the extended heat wave. County officials said library branches within Fresno will close late at 8 p.m. during weekends for the remainder of July.

And cities like Hanford are offering free pool access. City officials said they are waving admission at “The Plunge” in light of the high temperatures.

Joshua Yeager is a Report For America corps reporter covering Kern County for KVPR.
Soreath Hok is a multimedia journalist with experience in radio, television and digital production. She is a 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award winner. At KVPR she covers local government, politics and other local news.
A Valley native, Elizabeth earned her bachelor's degree in English Language Literatures from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her master's degree in journalism from New York University. She has covered a range of beats. Her agriculture reporting for the Turlock Journal earned her a first place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. While in graduate school she covered the New Hampshire Primary for NBC Owned Television Stations and subsequently worked as a television ratings analyst for the company's business news network, CNBC. Upon returning to California, her role as a higher education public relations professional reconnected her to the Valley's media scene. She is happy to be back to her journalism roots as a local host at KVPR.