Triple-digit temperatures are forecast in parts of the Inland Empire Thursday to Saturday, marking the first flash heat wave of the year in the region, according to meteorologists.
“A ridge of high pressure setting up over California will strengthen through Friday,” the National Weather Service said. “That ridge will result in well-above-average temperatures west of the mountains and High Desert through Friday, and through Saturday in the low deserts.”
The Coachella Valley is expected to top 100 degrees Friday and Saturday, forecasters said, while the Riverside metropolitan area’s highs will hover in the mid-to-upper 90s, and the Temecula Valley will settle in the low 90s.
Lows will generally be in the 50s for deserts and valleys.
According to the NWS, the high pressure system fueling the warm-up will slide across the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah over the next three days, replacing the trough of low pressure that dominated the region at the start of the week and kept the mercury on the cool side.
Offshore winds developed Wednesday because of the atmospheric changes, and gusty conditions are expected to linger into Thursday, with the strongest winds in and around mountains and passes, according to the weather service.
Forecasters said temperatures will moderate Sunday, returning to seasonal norms by the start of next week.
No precipitation is in the forecast for the next seven days.