MODESTO -- Hot, hotter, hottest.
According to the National Weather Service forecast, today will be the hottest day of the year so far. Temperatures are expected to peak at 106 degrees, making it the third consecutive day of 100-plus weather.
The relative relief of the 90s isn't expected to come until at least the beginning of next week.
"We're just in the dog days of August," weather service meteorologist Johnnie Powell said Friday. "We've been having mild summers, so people have been taking it for granted. We didn't break any heat records. It's just a regular summer and a regular August."
Which means more hot weather ahead.
Many Central Valley residents are taking the hot streak in stride. Turlock resident Cesalie Bunch took her three children to Vintage Faire Mall with her mother Friday afternoon. Afterward, Bunch let her kids ages 5, 4 and 2 cool off in the outdoor water fountain.
"It's the end of the day and they've been good," she said. "The heat doesn't even really bother them. But we're thankful we have a couple of friends who have pools this summer."
Modesto Irrigation District spokeswoman Melissa Williams said the electric system outlook was good, despite the increased demand because of the high temperatures. Thursday, power peaked at 632 megawatts. Friday was projected at 625 megawatts and today should be down to 564 megawatts.
Peak power usage in the Turlock Irrigation District for Friday was forecast at 581 megawatts and today's is projected to drop to 525 megawatts.
Because it's the weekend, power use will go down though the temperatures are going up. Many businesses and offices will be closed, reducing large-scale need for electricity. And rather than sit in their homes with the air conditioning cranked, many people are sure to cool off in movie theaters, swimming pools, rivers and reservoirs.
Williams said the MID utilized its Shave the Energy Peak program Friday to help reduce peak usage. The company estimates it saved about 10 megawatts through the volunteer load control incentive program.
All customers are encouraged to conserve electricity, especially from 2 to 8 p.m., she said.
Valley residents always have found ways to stay cool during summer's onslaught. Bunch and her family also spend time canoeing and eating lots and lots of Otter Pops.
Others seek refuge in a different icy treat, such as those at Modesto's Pura Vida Shaved Ice. Manager Andrew Griffin says demand for the sweet shaved ice skyrockets on hot days.
Modesto resident Ethel Castro and her younger sister, Madison, "almost live there," she said, when temperatures spike in the summer. "It's this or stay home in the air conditioning and keep all the blinds closed," Castro said.
For those without air conditioning, The Salvation Army in Modesto has opened a cooling center at its homeless shelter at Ninth and D streets near downtown. The center is open from noon to 4 p.m. Salvation Army Capt. Mike Paugh said the center will remain open as long as daytime temperatures top 100 degrees.
The city of Merced will have its cooling center open today through Monday at the Sam Pipes Room on the first floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. The public can get relief from 4 to 8 p.m., and bus transportation will be available today and Monday.
If all else fails, do what the dogs do in summer. Janis Cabeceiras rested in the shade Friday afternoon with her daughter's dog, Lucky, a boxer and mastiff mix.
"When the dogs get too hot, we just hose them down," she said.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2284.
For more on current and coming conditions, go to www.modbee.com/weather