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Creepily warm weather in SF: Thanks, global warming

San Franciscans enjoy the sun at Heron’s Head Park on Feb. 7, 2022.
San Franciscans enjoy the sun at Heron’s Head Park on Feb. 7, 2022. | Camille Cohen

February Freeze? Not so this year. With nary a rain cloud in sight, the Bay Area is setting high-temperature records this week.

San Francisco temperatures will be above 70 degrees all week, reaching a high of 76 degrees on Thursday, and will stay warm through Valentine’s Day, said Lisa Argen, a meteorologist with ABC7. Other Bay Area cities, like Gilroy and Santa Rosa, could reach 80 degrees. 

These temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees higher than usual for February. 

A combination of a “breezy offshore flow over the North and East Bay Hills” and a “ridge of high pressure that is deflecting storms away from the Bay Area” is what’s keeping our air warm and dry and casting a summer-like spell onto San Francisco, Argen said. The high-pressure ridge is pushing down on the atmosphere, and as the air compresses it warms.

Monday, San Francisco residents were out and about in the city’s many parks, playing tennis, running, sunbathing and soaking up the good weather.

To Argen, it’s the party before the end of the world.

“It’s really messed up,” she said. “All these changes and shifts in our climate can be attributed to things going at the poles. Everything’s changed due to more carbon and more warmth in the atmosphere.”

Argen stressed how highly unusual this weather pattern is for February, typically San Francisco’s wettest month. San Francisco on average receives 4.46 inches of rain in February, and thus far, there have been zero inches of rain. The last time the area received rainfall was a month ago. That means that not only is the drought getting worse, but dry vegetation increases the risk of wildfires.

“We’re losing a lot of ground,” Argen said.

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