Even though temperatures were marginally lower than they were the day before, California continued to suffer on Wednesday from the blazing heat that has contributed to the spread of two wildfires and has put a burden on the state’s power infrastructure.
Some areas of the state received very little reprieve, such as downtown Sacramento, which set a day temperature record with a reading of 109 degrees, which is lower than the 116-degree peak it reached on Tuesday. The temperature in Modesto was just marginally lower than the day record, coming in at 107 degrees.
At the conclusion of Wednesday, it was determined that the state will not see any rolling blackouts. The grid was put under a significant amount of pressure and entered a Stage 2 degree of emergency; nevertheless, it did not reach the Stage 3 alert level, which had been reached on Tuesday.
The demand for electricity reached 50,000 megawatts for a short period of time but stayed below Tuesday’s record-setting high of 52,061 megawatts. Residents of the state were reminded by the state to reduce their electricity use in the late afternoon and evening to prevent the power system from being overloaded. The Independent System Operator of California also expanded the time range in which it was requesting people to minimise their consumption of electricity on Thursday; their request originally ranged from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., but it was extended by an additional hour on both ends.
Several cities in Northern California, including Lodi, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Ukiah, and Healdsburg, were without power for a short period of time on Tuesday evening. Grid officials said Wednesday that this was caused by the Northern California Power Agency, which supplies energy to those areas, misinterpreting an instruction from the California Independent System Operator.
Elliot Mainzer, the chief executive of the California I.S.O., told reporters on Wednesday morning that there was some amount of miscommunication between their dispatchers and our dispatchers about what was being asked. He said that the municipal outages were not the reason the state avoided blackouts.
On Wednesday, the power system in the state remained stable, but two wildfires continued to spread swiftly with minimal control. The Fairview fire in Riverside County almost doubled in size, going from 5,000 acres early in the morning to 9,846 acres early in the evening, with just 5% of it being contained. The Mosquito fire swiftly spread over 5,705 acres around 50 miles northeast of Sacramento in Northern California, which prompted the evacuation of numerous smaller settlements in the area.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are forecast to rise on Thursday before seeing a modest drop at the end of the week. This coincides with the potential arrival of Hurricane Kay, which would bring Southern California heavy rainfall and strong gusts. It is anticipated that temperatures will drop out of the triple digits in the Central Valley beginning on Saturday.