A heat wave expected to last several days will begin washing over the Southland Thursday.
The warmest communities Thursday will be Woodland Hills and Saugus, each expected to have highs of 97 degrees.
Meteorologists attribute the heat wave to an upper-level ridge of high pressure anchored Thursday morning near the Four Corners Region — southwestern corner of Colorado, southeastern corner of Utah, northeastern corner of Arizona and northwestern corner of New Mexico — combined with a weakening onshore flow.
“Dangerously hot conditions are possible Friday and Saturday” away from the coast, according to a National Weather Statement. “Onshore flow should strengthen early next week and bring a cooling trend.” An extended temperature forecast, however, reflects very little cooling.
The NWS forecast a combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies in L.A. County Thursday and highs of 73 degrees in Avalon; 74 at LAX; 83 in Long Beach and Downtown L.A.; 87 on Mount Wilson; 89 in San Gabriel; 91 in Burbank; 92 in Pasadena; 97 in Saugus and Woodland Hills; and 101 in Palmdale and Lancaster. Similar and higher temperatures will prevail at least through Wednesday.
Cooler temperatures will prevail in Orange County, where the NWS forecast sunny skies and highs of 72 in Laguna Beach; 73 in San Clemente and Newport Beach; 80 on Santiago Peak; 86 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 87 in Irvine; 88 in Fullerton; 89 in Fremont Canyon Mission Viejo, Yorba Linda and Anaheim; and 90 in Trabuco Canyon. Similar temperatures are forecast through Wednesday.
Forecasters recommended that, to avoid illness and discomfort, area residents should limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, drink plenty of fluids while avoiding caffeine and alcohol, dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and never leave children or pets in an enclosed parked vehicle.
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