A heat wave hit Riverside County Monday, with temperatures expected to reside in the triple digits countywide throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.

A high pressure system will strengthen and expand over the Southwestern United States this week, ushering in the sweltering conditions, forecasters said.

An excessive heat warning began Monday morning and will continue through 9 p.m. Sunday in the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

The warning will also include the Riverside metropolitan area and the Riverside County mountains starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday and lasting through 9 p.m. Saturday.

The heat in the Coachella Valley could reach 118 on Tuesday and 122 on Friday, forecasters said.

Temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area and expected to peak at 110 on Tuesday, then reach 109 on Wednesday, forecasters said. The mountains are expected to reach 109 on Tuesday and Wednesday, then 108 on Thursday and Friday.

The weather service said the 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’s especially true during warm or hot weather — when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

The county recently opened cooling centers in multiple locations, where residents who don’t have access to air-conditioning can stay during the heat of the day. A complete list of options is available at www.capriverside.org/cool-centers.

Highs temperatures on Monday are expected to be in the high-90s to low-100s in the Riverside metropolitan area, the low-90s to low-100s in the mountains, the mid-100s to low-110s in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the high-100s to mid-110s in the Coachella Valley.

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