A heat wave this weekend is expected to usher in the hottest days recorded this year in the Coachella Valley.
At noon Saturday, the temperature in Palm Springs, Blythe and Thermal was recorded at 109 degrees, while west of the mountains in Riverside the mercury was at 97, according to the National Weather Service.
A strong system of high pressure is building over Arizona and New Mexico, spurring sweltering heat in most of Southern California through Monday, the NWS said.
On Sunday, Thermal is expected to reach 118, and Palm Springs 117, and both temperatures would break records in their respective cities for the year. Palm Springs hit 115 on June 3 and again on July 5, according to Miguel Miller, a NWS meteorologist, and Thermal topped out at 115, too, also on June 3.
Sunday’s temperatures are expected to be a degree or two hotter.
Triple-digit temperatures are also expected to continue through Monday in the Riverside County metropolitan area and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.
The NWS issued an excessive heat warning that will be in effect through 8 p.m. Monday for the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass, while a heat advisory will last through 8 p.m. Sunday in the Riverside metropolitan area.
While the weekend temperatures in the Coachella Valley might set records for 2020, they are not expected to break all-time records. Sunday’s forecasted 118 degrees in Thermal is expected to near the city’s daily record of 120 degrees for July 12 set in 1985. Records in Thermal have been kept since 1950.
The hottest temperature on record in Palm Springs for July 12 is 120 degrees, first set in 1958 and matched in 1985. Records have been kept consistently in Palm Springs since 1922.
Historically, the hottest days recorded in the Coachella Valley have been 126 degrees in Thermal and Mecca, according to Miller.
Thermal hit 126 degrees on July 28, 1995, and Mecca reached 126 on two days, June 26, 1990 and Sept. 2, 1950.
NWS officials urged residents to drink plenty of fluids this weekend, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Also, young children, senior and pets should never be left unattended in a vehicle parked during the day, with car interiors able to reach lethal temperatures in minutes.
Slight cooling will arrive on Tuesday and continue through Thursday, forecasters said.
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