Scorching heat is expected again Thursday throughout Riverside County, but relief will arrive this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

High pressure over the southwestern United States will slowly weaken as it moves southward into Arizona, forecasters said.

An excessive heat warning will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday in the Riverside metropolitan area, the Riverside County mountains, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the Coachella Valley.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Also, young children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to “reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” according to the NWS.

High temperatures Thursday are forecast to reach 114 in the Coachella Valley, 114 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 106 in Hemet, 104 in Riverside, 104 in Lake Elsinore, 99 in Temecula and 91 in Idyllwild.

Thunderstorms are possible Thursday afternoon in the Riverside County mountains, forecasters said.

Highs in the Coachella Valley are expected to drop to 109 on Friday, then 107 on Saturday, according to the NWS. High temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area are forecast to remain in the triple digits through Friday.

Wednesday’s high reached 108 in San Jacinto, beating out its 107-degree record set in 1986, according to the NWS.

Riverside County has 14 cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place. Among the 14 locations, five are in the Coachella Valley, two in the Banning Pass, one in Moreno Valley, one in Temecula and five in Riverside.

A full list of the cooling center locations can be found at:

As of early Thursday morning, fire crews were nearing full containment of the Apple Fire, which has burned 33,424 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest including a portion of the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning. The blaze is 95% contained.

Wind gusts out of the south are expected to reach 30 mph in that area Thursday, forecasters said.

U.S. Forest Service officials said the gusty winds and high temperatures Thursday could pose a challenge to containment efforts, but fire lines passed the test of winds all last week.

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