Unusual heat burst hits Vacaville, Oakland Hills

Friday, August 04, 2017 07:48PM
An unusual weather phenomenon called a heat burst took place in the Bay Area overnight that left many people asking, "What in the world is happening?" Well, here's the answer.


SAN FRANCISCO - An unusual weather phenomenon called a heat burst took place in the Bay Area overnight that left many people asking, "What in the world is happening?" Well, here's the answer.

Just before midnight, a sudden heat spike in Vacaville caused the temperature to increase from 86 degrees to 95 degrees in just a matter of minutes.

This graphic shows the heat burst that took place in Vacaville, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.


A few hours later, at 5 a.m., a similar spike was recorded in the Oakland Hills, where the temperature went from 73 degrees to 85 degrees in a matter of minutes.

This graphic shows the heat burst that took place in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.


Immediately, after a nighttime thunderstorm, there is often a sudden downdraft of cool, dry air. As the air descends, it compresses and rapidly warms up. The result is a sharp temperature increase, or heat burst, like the ones recorded overnight in Vacaville and the Oakland Hills.

Thunderstorms occur only infrequently in the Bay Area; but, when they do, they generally leave us a lot to talk about.

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