Starting today, the Southland will be in the grips of a heat wave that will generate temperatures in the 100s in some areas and an elevated risk of wildfire for several days, National Weather Service forecasters said.
“A decent heat wave will start Thursday and last until at least Sunday and perhaps Monday and Tuesday as well,” the NWS said in a hazardous-weather outlook statement. “Afternoon highs will be near 80 at the beaches, near 90 across the inland areas of the coastal region and in the triple digits across the valleys.”
The heat wave is not expected to include high winds, a key ingredient in sparking and spreading wildfires, meteorologist Scott Sukup said in a telephone interview from the NWS Southern California monitoring station in Oxnard. But humidity levels will dip into the teens, creating “very dry” conditions and an “elevated fire danger,” he said.
In a statement on its website, the weather service in Oxnard blamed the heat wave on a combination of strong high pressure in the atmosphere and weak offshore winds and said it would cause areas away from the immediate coast, including the valleys and mountains at lower elevations, to “to heat up, especially Saturday through at least Monday.”
“For this weekend, expect high temperatures ranging between 100 and 106 across the valleys, lower mountain elevations and the Antelope Valley,” the statement said. “Even inland portions of the coastal plain including downtown Los Angeles will likely climb well into the 90s.”
NWS forecasters said temperatures will approach or exceed heat records during the heat wave, and overnight temperatures will remain relatively high — generally in the 70s.
The NWS warned residents to protect themselves and their pets against dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and hyperthermia. It issued a set of five instructions on its website:
-“Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
-“Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. Save activities for the coolest time of the day.
-“Stay cool. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Spend more time in air-conditioned places.
-“Your car is an oven. Do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.
-“Remember your animals. Be mindful of heat impacts on livestock and pets. Provide plenty of shade and water.”
Friday’s temperatures will be between two and four degrees higher in some communities and the same as today’s in others. In some areas, temperatures will reach a peak Sunday and Monday; downtown L.A., for example, is forecast to experience highs of 96 on those days. In several areas, a cooling trend will start Tuesday.