The region’s heat wave will intensify today, with temperatures reaching or surpassing the century mask in several communities, and the humidity could make the weather feel even more dreadful than it already is, forecasters said.
In Santa Monica, expect a high of 81 today, 79 on Friday, and 78 on Saturday and Sunday.
The hottest temperatures — between 100 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit — will strike the valleys today and Friday, according to a National Weather Service statement, while desert areas register highs of between 100 and 102 and coastal temperatures range from 75 to 85 near the beach and 85 to 95 inland.
The heat wave — resulting from high pressure over the region — will end Saturday, when a cooling trend will get underway.
“The hot conditions may result in an increase in heat-related illnesses, especially for the homeless, elderly, infants, outdoor workers and those participating in outdoor activities,” the statement warned. “The extended period of hot and dry conditions will also bring elevated fire danger.”
But in this instance, the statement writer using the phrase “hot and dry” was referring to an absence of rain and the drought-induced dryness of the vegetation, forecasters said. In fact, a 40 percent relative humidity level is expected, said NWS meteorologist Dave Bruno in a telephone interview from his monitoring station in Oxnard, adding that, compared to dry heat, 40 percent humidity amid high temperatures “feels hot.”
Because of the humidity, heat index values — how hot it really feels — “may approach critical levels,” one NWS statement said.
Forecasters urged people to protect themselves and their loved ones. They said residents should stay well-hydrated, avoid working in the sun, check on neighbors and relatives — especially the elderly — and provide plenty of water to pets and livestock.
It is also critically important never to leave children, the elderly or pets in closed cars parked in hot weather, forecasters stressed.
Los Angeles County health officials declared a heat alert through at least Friday for the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and eastern San Gabriel valleys. County officials noted that cooling centers will be available throughout the county. A list is available online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 79 in San Clemente; 82 in Newport Beach; 83 in Avalon; 84 at LAX; 85 in Laguna Beach; 92 on Mount Wilson; 94 in downtown L.A. and Irvine; 95 in Long Beach; 96 in Anaheim; 98 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; 100 in San Gabriel, Burbank and Yorba Linda; 101 in Pasadena; 102 in Palmdale and Lancaster; and 105 in Woodland Hills and Saugus.
Friday’s highs had been expected to be the same as today’s, but the latest NWS forecasts indicates they will generally be a couple of degrees lower. Temperatures will drop about six more degrees Saturday.
Downtown L.A. is expected to be 94 today, 92 Friday, 86 Saturday, 83 Sunday and 82 Monday. On the same days, Woodland Hills will have highs of 105, 103, 98, 93 and 92.