You’ve got to click on the above to appreciate it (don’t worry–I’m not surreptitiously signing you up for a $10,000 Ukrainian stock brokers conference).

That’s what the next few days look like in Red Bluff, near the head of the Sacramento Valley, 170 road miles from climatically bland Berkeley. I’m not sure of the reasons, but the northern end of the valley is one of the hottest places in the state. During one heat spell in the ’90s, Redding (30 miles north of Red Bluff) hit 117.

The week ahead in Red Bluff: temperatures above 110 for the next three days. And lots of smoke from the fires that won’t go out (and hey, how would you like to be on one of the fire crews trying to put the fires out in that weather?). I’m reading Dante’s Inferno right now. He didn’t know the half of it.

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5 Replies to “Forecast”

  1. I know the Ukrainians–with their famed national sense of humor and a keen ability to laugh at their own foibles (an ability honed by decades of watching standup routines by renowned comics like Stalin)–can take it.

  2. Weather Underground calls for 75 and scattered clouds in Kiev Wednesday. But what I really wanted to say was, criminey, the forecast for the city of Napa is 109!

  3. 109 in Napa. Will that make for an outstanding vintage? That’s a serious question. I have read that the scorcher summer in France (2003) was a good wine producing year. But 109…that sounds more like Phoenix.

  4. Turned out the temp in Napa (city) topped out at 95 on Wednesday, quite a bit cooler than forecast. Still, it’s a good question, the relationship between hot weather and the vintage. It’s true that 2003 was a hot year in France, and generally, because France’s most celebrated growing regions aren’t as consistently sunny and warm as California, heat = good. But four or five years on, I’d say the reviews of the ’03 vintage are pretty mixed. It was far and away the best Beaujolais vintage in memory, but who drinks Beaujolais? People love the ’03 Rhones, particularly from the north, but Bordeaux and Burgundy seem to be a bit of a mixed bag. Certainly 2005 is thought to be the superior vintage in those regions.
    As for Napa and heat, short-term mid-summer spikes – even up to 109 – have a negligible effect. Some years they happen, some years they don’t, but they rarely define the vintage. Springtime weather and harvest weather are more important in Napa. What’s really interesting is that vintages in Napa in the past several years have generally been on the COOL side. Even 2006, when there was an extroadinary heatwave for a week or so in July, was considered a moderate heat year at best. One theory holds that Napa may become cooler because of climate change, as more cool marine air is sucked into the coastal valleys by the increasing heat in the Central Valley.

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