The Inland Empire will start to cool off Friday and conditions will be drier throughout Riverside County following a week of hot and humid weather.
The high pressure system that has been the driving force behind the hot, sticky conditions this week will make its way east Friday and give way to a trough of low pressure moving in from northern California this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
High temperatures Friday could reach 109 in the Coachella Valley, 108 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 98 degrees in Riverside, 91 in Temecula and 100 in Hemet.
Thunderstorms will be possible in the San Bernardino County mountains Friday afternoon, but no thunderstorm activity is expected in Riverside County, according to the NWS.
Riverside’s minimum temperature Thursday was 76 degrees … a degree hotter than the 75 degree minimum temperature that was recorded for Thursday’s date in 2013.
Palm Springs recorded a minimum temperature of 89, topping a record of 86 from 1991; Thermal saw a minimum of 88 degrees, overtaking a minimum of 86 from 2002; and Indio reached a minimum temperature of 90 degrees, breaking a record of 89, also from 2002.
High temperatures in Riverside are expected to drop to 90 degrees by Sunday and highs in the Coachella Valley are expected to drop to 102 by the end of the weekend and remain there through the middle of next week, forecasters said.
A wildfire possibly ignited by lightning just west of Murrieta had burned 2,000 acres as of early Friday morning and was 10% contained.
All residents on Belcara Place, Botanica Place, Lone Oak Way, Montanya Place, The Trails Circle and Copper Canyon North and South, between Clinton Keith Road and Murrieta Creek Drive, were under mandatory evacuation orders, while areas of Bear Creek were under a voluntary evacuation warning.
All schools in the Murrieta Valley and Lake Elsinore Unified school districts, Menifee Union and Romoland school districts will be closed Friday.
The county Department of Public Health issued an air quality advisory, warning residents north and east of the Tenaja blaze that fire debris could have negative health impacts.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, recommended young children and those in sensitive health to stay indoors and run air conditioners — with unobstructed filters — to minimize the effects of smoke and ash.
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