Today and Saturday will be the worst days when it comes to the current heat wave. The temperature will begin to cool down on Sunday, but will still be extremely hot.

And while conditions will still be warm as of Thursday afternoon the National Weather Service was calling for cooler temperatures than it had previously been forecasting for the beginning of next week, with the possibility of the temperature falling below 100. Temperatures will then return to normal for this time of year by Tuesday.

Today's high is expected to be 109 with a low of 78 while Saturday's high is forecast to be 108 with a low of 76. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through 8 p.m. Saturday night.

Those in the area may have noticed some spots on their windshields from residual raindrops that fell from thunderstorm activity late Thursday night. Residents in the area reported being awakened by thunderstorms as lightning lit up the skies before midnight.

Governor Gavin Newsom also declared a state of emergency over the heat wave on Thursday. Newsom's emergency proclamation temporarily suspends rules that could prevent power plants from increasing operations to meet demand for electricity.

The State's Independent System Operator, which manages the state's electrical grid, has issued another Flex Alert after previously issuing a Flex Alert. But the Independent System Operation has refrained from issuing any kind of mandatory conservation measures.

Newsom has been adamant about the state's power grid staying on after rolling blackouts happened over two nights due to a heat wave last August.

The Independent System Operator has issued a Flex Alert twice in the last two days. The state's electric grid manager issued a three-hour Flex Alert to begin at 6 p.m. tonight.

The Flex Alert calls for voluntary conservation measures such as turning thermostats up to at least 78 degrees and avoiding using heavy appliances.

A Flex Alert was also issued for Thursday night. State officials have said their confident blackouts are unlikely. This weekend's heatwave isn't expected to be as wide spread as last August's heatwave, which covered a huge region of the Western U.S., affecting electricity availability for the whole region.

Electricity demand was expected to peak on Thursday night and decrease a little bit today. But the Independent System Operator is also concerned about how the drought has cut significantly into the state's hydroelectricy supply.

On Sunday the forecast calls for the temperature to fall just a bit to 105 with a low of 69. Then on Monday the National Weather Service is forecasting the temperature will fall below 100 at 99. On Tuesday the forecast calls for a more seasonal normal temperature of 99.

The city of Porterville has opened cooling centers that will be open through Sunday. Cooling centers are located at Porterville City Hall, the Porterville Transit Center and the Porterville Fire Training building behind Fire Station 72 at 500 N. Newcomb. For more information, call 791-8000.

Other local cooling centers include the Springville, Strathmore and Lindsay Public Libraries. A list of cooling centers throughout Tulare County is available at seeking assistance in locating a cooling center can also call 2-1-1.

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