As a punishing heat wave sent temperatures soaring well into the triple digits in the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley for a second day, residents were urged to continue conserving electricity while being mindful to prevent heat-related health problems.

The high-pressure system bringing the relentless heat prompted the weather service to issue an Excessive Heat Warning that began at 10 a.m. Monday and will remain in effect through 8 p.m. Thursday in the Coachella Valley, San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and Riverside County Mountains and valleys.

Heat records were broken for the second consecutive day in the Coachella Valley, with a new July 24 maximum temperature of 122 degrees for Thermal and 121 degrees for Palm Springs reached. The Palm Springs mark breaks a 90-year-old record, according to the National Weather Service.

On Monday, Palm Springs and Thermal set maximum temperature records of 119 degrees and 122 degrees, respectively, for that date.

Indio reached a high of 118 degrees Tuesday. On the western side of the county, it reached 114 degrees in Lake Elsinore, 107 degrees in Riverside and Hemet, and 102 degrees in Temecula.

Nearly 1,000 Imperial Irrigation District customers in Coachella lost power for around two hours Monday — a day which marked a new 2018 record for peak electricity demand, according to the utility.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, issued a statewide Flex Alert calling for voluntary electricity conservation from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

IID, which serves the eastern Coachella Valley and Imperial County, echoed the calls for conservation.

“IID has adequate power supplies to meet its demand, but asks customers to conserve energy to ease strain on the electric grid and maintain reliability of the system,” said Henry Martinez, manager of IID’s Energy Department.

Lows in the Coachella Valley may not dip below the 90s throughout the heat wave, meaning the minimal cooling at night could pose a health risk to those who don’t have access to air conditioning because the body needs time to cool down from the day’s heat, according to the NWS.

The NWS also warned that heat islands could form in dense urban areas where human activity causes the temperature to be higher than in open spaces.

Heat islands can cause breathing problems, heat cramps, heat stroke, or even death.

County health officials advised locals to take advantage of the 56 cooling centers that opened to the public this month and are available at no cost. A list of cooling centers can be found at www.capriverside.org.

Forecasters said the heat will subside back to seasonal levels by Friday, with temperatures mostly in the 90s across the board.

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