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Fall heat wave expected to bake Central Coast through Friday

Angel M Russell
People seeking relief from the heat at Avila Beach.

A fall heat wave is hitting California, with heat advisories in effect for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

People are flocking to the beaches to escape the heat inland, and Peggy Montgomery is on a girls trip to Avila Beach to get away from the heat she says has been rough for months in Sacramento.

“In Sacramento it’s probably going to be 102," Montgomery said. "So this is nice, this is pleasant.”

Her friend Sue Palmer is joining her from the Bay Area. Palmer said people who live in the Central Coast are fortunate.

“I have to drive in the heat to get to an ocean, and she has no ocean," Palmer said. "You all are lucky to have this.”

While the Central Coast has had breaks of cool weather since the start of summer, September and October have been bringing days of heat waves, and farmers continue working through the tough weather.

“The main objective is to keep our employees safe,” said Ryan Talley, farm director at Talley Farms in the Edna Valley.

Talley said when the heat waves come, he takes extra precautions for workers, doubling the amount of cool water on hand.

“With COVID-19 and the social distancing, we are having to put up double shade structures with chairs ready for individuals in case they start to feel the symptoms of being overheated," Talley said.

Talley said at his farm, if the weather gets too hot, he stops production completely during the day. 

“If it’s going to be hot for a significant amount of time," Talley said. "Then we’ll go ahead and turn on the lights and harvest during the evenings.”

The crops also need additional care when the temperatures go up, requiring an uptick in water and maintenance.

“Technology definitely helps us because it gives us those couple days jump that we can get in irrigating the crops," Talley said.

Temperatures are expected to stay on the warmer side through the end of the week.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.