With Mother Nature continuing to bake the Southland with “dangerous and even deadly” temperatures, an excessive heat warning went into a fourth day in most of the Southland Thursday, but a growing marine layer brought some relief to coastal areas.
However, while coastal conditions improved, the excessive heat warning affecting the rest of Los Angeles County was extended by a day and is expected to expire at 8 p.m. Friday, except in the Antelope Valley, where the warning has already been stretched to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Southern California residents were urged to take steps to protect themselves from the conditions, scheduling strenuous activities for the coolest part of the day — in the morning or evening — wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing and drinking plenty of water.
NWS forecasters also stressed that “young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.” The warning also covers seniors.
Health officials also warned against leaving children or the elderly alone at home without air conditioning.
“Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Los Angeles County’s interim health officer. Even a few hours of exertion can cause severe hydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, he said.
Frail individuals or those with chronic health problems are particularly at risk and Gunzenhauser urged residents to make sure that elderly or infirm neighbors without air conditioning get to a cooling center or other air-conditioned space during the day. A map of cooling centers can be found at www.lacounty.gov/heat or residents may call 211.
“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out to those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of extreme heat, including children, the elderly and their pets,” Gunzenhauser said.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday downgraded the excessive heat warning along the coast, in beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, the downtown area and the Hollywood Hills, converting it into a less serious heat advisory. But at 9 a.m. Thursday, the NWS canceled that as well, saying in a statement that a deeper marine layer had developed and brought cooler temperatures closer to the ocean.
The excessive heat warning, however, remains in effect in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains and inland Orange County. Overnight low temperatures have offered little reprieve from the heat, ranging from 66-76 degrees.
Forecasters warned, however, that high temperatures will linger a little longer in the Antelope Valley, with daytime highs expected to range from 100 to 110 degrees through Saturday.
Conditions across the area will create “increased potential for serious heat-related illnesses, especially for the young and elderly, those performing outdoor activities, as well as those without access to air conditioning,” the NWS warned in a statement, adding there’s also an increased potential for power outages and wildfires.
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