Spare the Air alerts issued for Bay Area heat wave


Kathy Fang

Students hydrate with water bottles in Main. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning today and advises residents of the Bay Area to stay indoors.

by Krishna Bheda and Tiffany Wong

In the wake of a heat wave hitting much of the Bay Area this Thursday and Friday, many cities have issued Spare the Air alerts to inform the public about the area’s air quality.

Temperatures throughout the week have been rising steadily. Both the San Mateo and Marin counties, as well as the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, received calls about smoke and smog from wildfires in northern California. The presence of these pollutants in the air has hiked the heat to a high of 107 degrees in San Jose and 94 degrees in San Francisco.

The National Weather Service also issued an excessive heat warning at 12:30 p.m. today warning Bay Area residents about the lows and highs of the week.

Bay Area schools are currently taking precautions to protect their communities from the heat by canceling after school activities, limiting students’ and teachers’ sun exposure and ensuring that everyone stays hydrated.

Director of Health Services Debra Nott has advised students at the preschool, lower school and middle school to stay indoors after 11 a.m. For this afternoon’s spirit kickoff and football game, Nott suggests that athletes with asthma pre-medicate before working out and take breaks indoors between period of activity on the field. A memo was also sent to the upper school’s athletic coaches suggesting that they switch from afternoon outdoor exercises to indoor discussions on strength training and strategy instead.

“At the upper school, the coaches here have a great deal of experience with managing hydration and their athletes in terms of performance and overheating,” she said. “As we know, the first football game is tonight and it will be outdoors, so we’re fortunate that it’s an evening game. However, we’re hoping that by the time the air temperature will be at a manageable level.”

The cross country team has opted to cancel outdoor practice for today and instead hold an indoor session. The football team plans to warm up indoors for their season opener against Cupertino High School, and the game was pushed back a half hour from a 7 to a 7:30 p.m. start time to allow the field to cool down.

“I [have] chatted with Mr. Olson and with the opposing team, and we all decided it would be best to push it back just a little bit,” athletic director Dan Molin said. “They’re going to be warming up in the gym today to keep cool as long as possible, and of course during the game it’ll be warm, so we’re going to monitor the athletes very closely with our sports medicine staff.”

The National Weather Service’s excessive heat warning is to remain in effect until next Monday night, and San Jose temperatures are expected to peak at 107 degrees on Saturday.

Like Harker has, you should all take precautions against the heat in your own day to day lives. Here are some things to think about:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Stay indoors
  • Do not overexert yourself and refrain from exercising outdoors if possible
  • Do not leave children and pets in the car
    • If you see a child in a car unattended, you are legally permitted to break the window
    • If you see a pet in a car unattended, you are legally permitted to break the window