Triple-digit heat again roasted parts of the Southland Wednesday as a heat wave maintained its grip on the region, with elevated temperatures expected to continue through at least Friday, prompting a call for residents to conserve electricity to prevent outages.
According to the National Weather Service, Lancaster reached a high of 113 degrees on Wednesday, breaking the June 16 record of 111 degrees set in 1961. Palmdale reached 112 degrees, breaking the 1961 record of 110 degrees, and falling just one-degree shy of breaking the all-time record for June. Sandberg also set a record at 101 degrees, breaking the record of 98 set on June 16, 1961.
Triple-digit heat was also recorded in Acton, which hit 110 degrees; Mount Wilson, which reached 102; and Saugus, which hit 106, according to the NWS.
Most valley areas reached the mid-90s on Wednesday, while downtown Los Angeles topped out at 88 degrees. Los Angeles International Airport had a high of 80 degrees, indicative of slightly cooler conditions along the coast.
“High pressure over the region will continue to bring very warm temperatures to the area through Friday, especially away from the coast,” according to the NWS. “For the weekend and into early next week, a cooling trend is expected with an increase in coastal low clouds and fog.”
The Santa Clarita Valley will remain under an excessive heat warning until 9 p.m. Thursday, with high of up to 108 anticipated. The warning will be in place until 9 p.m. Saturday for Los Angeles County mountains — excluding the Santa Monica range — and in the Antelope Valley, with highs potentially reaching 110 in the mountains and 113 in cities such as Lancaster and Palmdale.
The Santa Ana mountains and foothill areas will be under an excessive heat warning until 9 p.m. Friday.
A less severe heat advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, with temperatures of up to 103 possible. For Orange County inland areas, including Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, Fullerton and Mission Viejo, the advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Friday, with highs forecast between 85 and 90.
Forecasters urged residents to take precautions to avoid being overcome by the heat, particularly in areas under excessive heat warnings.
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” the NWS advised. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.
“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.”
Gusty conditions could become an issue in late afternoons in the Antelope Valley, creating “many hours of elevated to brief critical fire weather” each day, “due to the combination of gusty winds, humidities less than 15 percent and temperatures 102-112 degrees.”
The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, has issued a Flex Alert for 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, calling on residents to voluntarily reduce their power use to ease strain on the system and prevent possible power outages. Residents were urged to avoid using major appliances during the alert, turn off unnecessary lights and set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher.
The agency earlier declared a “restricted maintenance operation” condition that will be in effect through Friday due to the forecasted high temperatures and demand. The declaration warns that all available resources will be needed to maintain supply, and calls on suppliers to defer scheduled maintenance on generators and transmission lines if possible.
Also due to the heat wave, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an ozone advisory through Saturday, predicting increased likelihood of poor air quality in many areas. Levels of ground-level ozone — the predominant summertime pollutant — are likely to reach unhealthy or higher air quality index levels throughout most of the Southland.
And, the Los Angeles County health officer issued an Excessive Heat Warning starting Monday and ending Saturday for West San Fernando Valley, East San Fernando Valley, East San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley. The warning will be in effect through Thursday in the rest of the San Gabriel Valley, and from Tuesday through Wednesday in the Los Angeles basin.
The warning reminds everyone in the affected regions to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes, and people with chronic medical conditions.
Public Health officials issued the following recommendations to stay safe during high temperature days:
— Drink plenty of water throughout the day;
— Plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen;
— Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and wear a hat or use an umbrella;
— Never leave children or pets in cars and call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone;
— Beware of heat-related illness, like heat stroke and call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin;
— Check on those at risk, such as those who are sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children, and those who live alone; and
— If you are wearing a mask, avoid strenuous workouts wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purposes.
“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out and check on others, in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of high temperatures, including children, the elderly, and their pets,” said Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis. “High temperatures are not just an inconvenience, they can be dangerous and even deadly.”
County and city partners operate cooling centers during times of high heat. Residents who do not have access to air conditioning are encouraged to take advantage of free cooling centers. To find a location, visit ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 211.
The city of Glendale will operate a cooling station through Thursday at the Pacific Community Center, 501 S. Pacific Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Los Angeles County residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs can call 2-1-1 for emergency preparedness information and other referral services.