The Southland will again bake today as the region’s heat wave intensifies and temperatures reach or surpass the century mark over a wide area, and a threat of flash flooding hangs over the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley, forecasters said.
In Santa Monica, expect a high of 88 today, 87 on Thursday, 82 on Friday, 81 on Saturday, and 78 on Sunday.
The valleys, and mountain areas at low elevations, again will be Southern California’s hottest spots, but metropolitan Los Angeles will not be spared. A widespread temperature rise of a couple degrees compared to Tuesday’s readings is forecast to send the high in downtown L.A. today to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Maximum temperatures will reach dangerous levels across much of Southern California this week,” said a National Weather Service statement. “The peak of the heat event will be Wednesday (today) and Thursday.”
Things will cool down a bit over the weekend, although temperatures will remain above normal, forecasters said.
Temperatures today and during the rest of the heat wave will be running 10-15 degrees higher than normal, said NWS meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie. The high heat is being attributed to high pressure developing over the region, combined with the fact that only weak winds are blowing in from the ocean.
The conditions prompted the NWS to issue an excessive heat warning for the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys. It will be in force until 8 p.m. Thursday.
Another major factor in today’s weather was the moisture flowing from Hurricane Linda in the Baja California area. The humidity level in the Southland will reach 33 or 34 percent today, making it feel even hotter than what the thermometer says, said NWS meteorologist Todd Hall, and a flash food watch will be in force in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If slow-moving thunderstorms develop, rain could come down at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour or more, warned an NWS statement.
“Heavy rain could lead to flash flooding, mud and debris flows and rockslides,” it said. “Roads could be closed due to water flowing over them as well as mud and rocks washing onto them.” Forecasters also warned that brief, heavy rainfall could unleash mud and debris flows over slopes denuded by wildfire.
Forecasters said those at greatest risk of suffering heat-related ailments were infants, the elderly, the homeless, outdoor workers, people taking part in outdoor activities in the heat, and pets without access to shade.
They urged residents to drink plenty of water; wear light-colored and lightweight clothing; stay out of the midday sun; check on neighbors and the elderly to make sure they are not being overwhelmed by the heat; and never, ever leave children, the elderly, or pets in a vehicle parked in hot weather.