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By the numbers: A look back on California's historic heatwave

The impacts of the historic heatwave impacted nearly every facet of society, with many locations achieving their all-time highest temperatures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With the heatwave finally over, it's worth looking back on the historic event from a data standpoint. 

The heatwave smashed all-time records, pushed the electrical grid to the max and aided in the outbreak of the Mosquito Fire, which currently sits at 48,700 acres burned.

The heatwave was very anomalous in both its magnitude as well as the duration, according to NWS Sacramento. The strong high pressure forced air downward, compressing and heating it as it made its way to the surface. 

RELATED: Sacramento Weather Forecast

The strength of the system also acted as a forcefield, preventing any systems from entering the region that would've ushered in cooler temperatures. This set the stage for California to experience some of the hottest temperatures it has ever experienced.

The major headline of the heat locally was downtown Sacramento hitting 116 degrees, breaking its previous record of 114 degrees set all the way back in 1925.

For downtown Sacramento, the stretch from Sept. 1 to Sept. 9 had a blistering average high of 108.8 degrees. For reference, the average high for the same time period is 92.6 degrees.

The heatwave resulted in Sacramento breaking its record of 100-degree days of 41, which was set in 1988 and with records going back to 1877.

Downtown Sacramento also averaged an overnight low of 71.1 degrees, above the average of 60.8 degrees. 

The record warm lows were a primary source of danger associated with the heatwave, due to little overnight relief for those without air conditioning. Downtown Sacramento smashed many daily overnight low records, including a low of 80 degrees on September 7, surpassing the previous daily record of 74 set in 2020.

Research conducted by the EPA shows that the United States is seeing warmer overnight lows due to climate change, and that the rate of warming overnight is higher than during the day.

Elsewhere, Stockton tied its all-time high temperature of 115 on Sept. 6 and every location in the region broke their all-time September high temperature, according to the National Weather Service.

It was an eye-opening event, and heatwaves of this magnitude could become more common as heatwaves are expected to worsen as the climate continues to warm, according to an EPA study on climate change indicators. 

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