More potentially record-breaking temperatures are expected across Riverside County Monday, as Southern California continues to suffer through a late-summer, triple-digit heat wave.
An excessive heat warning has been extended through at least 8 p.m. Friday in the Inland Empire, while a statewide Flex Alert has been extended Monday for the sixth day in a row.
High temperatures during Monday’s Labor Day holiday are expected to reach 110 in Hemet, 114 in Palm Springs and 110 in downtown Riverside, according to the National Weather Service.
The oppressive heat is expected to linger for most of the week, with temperatures dropping slightly Friday before becoming significantly coolier by Saturday.
“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the NWS said.
Meanwhile, the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, said another Flex Alert would be in effect from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and asked residents to minimize power consumption during those hours due to elevated demand.
An extra hour has been added from 9- to 10 p.m. due to projected market deficiencies.
Residents were urged to take the following power-saving steps:
— setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;
— avoiding use of major appliances;
— turning off unnecessary lights; and
— avoid charging electric vehicles.
Residents were also advised to pre-cool their homes as much as possible, and close blinds and drapes to keep interiors cool.
The alerts have worked thus far, with the state avoiding involuntary power cutoffs. Officials said Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in particular are shaping up to be the most difficult days of the heat wave. Tuesday’s peak demand is forecast to be 50,087 megawatts, just shy of the all-time record of 50,270 set in 2006.
According to Cal-ISO, electrical demand on Sunday was about 45,000.
The extreme heat and low humidity are also ratcheting up wildfire dangers, but so far only small-scale brushers have erupted in Riverside County, causing little damage.
Health officials advise residents to stay indoors with air conditioning whenever possible, drink plenty of fluids and avoid hiking or other strenuous activity in extreme heat.
Children and pets should never be left in unattended vehicles for even one minute.
Cooling centers for Riverside County can be found at www.capriverside.org/cool-centers.