Posted: 07/03/2013 05:10:19 PM PDT
SANTA CRUZ -- The upper Santa Cruz Mountains will be scorching this Independence Day, with temperatures topping 100 degrees at elevations above 1,000 feet prompting the National Weather Service to issue an extreme heat warning for the area through 7 p.m. Thursday.
While the higher elevations will have the county's highest temperatures, the mountain towns are feeling the heat, too. Accuweather predicts a high of 90 degrees for Boulder Creek, 88 for Ben Lomond, 89 for Bonny Doon, 89 for Scotts Valley and 88 for Felton. Overnight lows are expected to be in the upper 50s and low 60s.
At least one resident isn't fazed by the high temperatures.
Santa Cruz-based artist Jody Bare works at the un-air-conditioned Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center in Ben Lomond and said she's embracing the heat.
"When you go in and out of air conditioning, then you really notice it," Bare said. "But if you acclimate to it then you don't really suffer too much."
Scotts Valley, where a fireworks display is scheduled for 9:15 p.m., is expected to have patchy evening fog.
Drivers should allow plenty of time to get to holiday events, such as the fireworks show, and expect heavy traffic and road closures throughout the county.
The coast will be cooler, with morning fog, partial afternoon cloudiness, and temperatures in the mid- to high 70s in Santa Cruz, Live Oak, Capitola and Watsonville.
Aptos, site of the 52nd annual World's Shortest Parade, beginning at 10 a.m., should be mostly sunny with a high of 72.
Temperatures are expected to drop several degrees across the county Friday and through the weekend.
For those looking to hit the waves, Surfline.com is forecasting waves of 1 to 2 feet on Thursday and 2 to 3 feet on Friday and Saturday in Santa Cruz.
National Weather Service meteorologist Austin Cross reminded those headed to the beaches to be aware of dangerous rip currents despite the calm waters.