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The Southland slipped into the grips of another heat wave Thursday, with Los Angeles County temperatures reaching triple-digit territory in several communities and expected to be even higher Friday and over the coming days.

National Weather Service forecasters said the high heat that will plague the region for the next several days is the result of an upper-level high- pressure system parked over parts of the southwestern United States.

“Very warm overnight temperatures are also expected during this heat wave, increasing the possibility of heat stress. The warmest overnight lows will be in the foothills and lower mountain areas where lows in the mid 70s to mid 80s will be common,” according to the NWS.

“It is still too early to predict just how long this heat wave will last. However, the mountains and deserts will remain well above normal through Sunday and possibly into early next week.”

A heat advisory will be in force until 9 a.m. Friday in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, immediately followed by a more serious excessive heat warning scheduled to last until 9 p.m. Saturday. The excessive heat warning will be in effect in the Antelope Valley at the same time.

“The very high temperatures will create a dangerous situation in which there is an increased threat of heat-related illnesses. The extended heat wave will also bring elevated fire weather conditions through the weekend,” forecasters said.

Forecasters urged Southland residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from what will be oppressive heat. People who work outside should schedule strenuous activity for early morning and evening hours, wear loose- fitting clothing, drink lots of water and take frequent breaks.

Residents are also urged to check on relatives and neighbors and never, ever leave kids, seniors or pets in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open, because a vehicle’s interior can quickly reach lethal levels in the heat.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued similar recommendations and also urged people living without air conditioning to take advantage of cooling centers, shopping malls and libraries to stay cool. A list of cooling centers is available online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or by calling 211.

The county issued a heat alert that will be in effect through Saturday in the San Fernando Valley, and will be in effect Friday and Saturday in Pomona, the Los Angeles basin and the San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in Los Angeles County Thursday and highs of 77 at LAX; 86 in Avalon; 87 in Downtown L.A. and Long Beach; 94 in San Gabriel; 95 in Pasadena and on Mount Wilson; 96 in Burbank; 103 in Saugus; 104 in Woodland Hills; 106 in Palmdale; and 108 in Lancaster.

Temperatures will rise only marginally in the Antelope Valley Friday but climb substantially in other communities. Downtown, for instance, will go from 87 Thursday to 96 Friday, Pasadena from 95 to 102, San Gabriel from 94 to 104, Woodland Hills from 104 to 110, and Saugus from 103 to 108.

Orange County will see highs of 73 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 74 in Newport Beach; 89 in Irvine; 91 in Mission Viejo; 92 in Anaheim. 94 in Yorba Linda; and 95 in Fullerton. Orange County temperatures will also be higher Friday, when Fullerton will hit 100 and Yorba Linda 101.

— City News Service

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