California set to be first state with extreme heat warning system under bills signed by Newsom, Brown
In this illustration, a satellite image of California under the extreme heat warning system. (NASA)
California would be the first state in the nation to deploy an extreme heat warning system that would be operational by June 1 of this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers announced Friday.
The system would have three levels of warning, including a heat warning during extreme heat and two more levels, depending on the time of day, Newsom said.
The bill was approved by the Legislature and Newsom signed it into law Friday morning after it cleared the Assembly. He then signed the bill into law Tuesday, the day before the Legislature was scheduled to pass it.
“The most vulnerable are the most in need of protection — our children don’t have to be the ones harmed by heat,” Newsom said. “I will always put the wellbeing of Californians first and their safety second.”
The new system would alert the public once 30 percent of the air temperature is above 95 degrees — which is an all-time modern record high for this time of year.
For example, during a normal 90-degree day on June 1, the average temperature would be 79 degrees Fahrenheit. But on a day when the temperature reaches 95 degrees, it would reach as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, exceeding the state’s current heat warning standard, which is 95 degrees.
The second warning level would go up to between 100 and 95 degrees if there’s rain.
If the heat warning goes up to 105 degrees or higher, the third level would go up to 110 or higher depending on the time of day.
The level would go up if there’s a major flood, the heat warning goes up to 110 degrees for the day or there’s a major storm.
The heat warning system is part of a statewide plan approved by legislators and Newsom last month. It calls on the California Department of Health Care Services, which oversees the state’s public health system, to install the system for the summer, which would be the first time it’s done