An excessive heat warning for the Coachella Valley will continue through Sunday evening, with desert areas expected to see daytime temperatures well into triple-digit territory.
Meteorologists said a high pressure system over the southwest United States is creating the extreme heat wave this week that’s been responsible for setting various temperature records.
On Friday, the mercury in Palm Springs reached 119, breaking the previous high temperature record for that day in 2017. Thermal set a new record on Thursday of 118 degrees, breaking the previous record of 114 degrees set in 2008.
Sunday’s highs were forecast to be 117 degrees in Thermal, 116 degrees in Palm Springs, 100 degrees in Hemet, 100 degrees in Lake Elsinore and 95 degrees in Riverside, according to the National Weather Service.
Aside from the heat, dry and gusty conditions will elevate the fire danger along the desert slopes, through the passes and into some desert areas, forecasters said.
“Near critical fire weather conditions will develop in these areas for several hours later today into this evening,” the NWS said.
The excessive heat warning for the Coachella Valley will be in place until 9 p.m.
The NWS service warned that “extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”
People should be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.
While young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, the weather service said that is especially true during warm or hot weather — when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
Meanwhile, cooling centers have opened in multiple locations in Riverside County, giving residents who don’t have access to air conditioning a cool place to stay during the peak heat portion of the day. A complete list of centers is available at www.capriverside.org/cool-centers.
The NWS said inland areas should begin to see cooler temperatures during the first half of this week before another heat wave arrives next weekend.