Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A heat wave gripped the Southland Thursday, with valley temperatures reaching the low 100s and even hotter weather — along with an elevated risk of wildfire — expected through Monday.

An upper-level ridge of high pressure will continue to develop and remain over the region throughout the weekend, resulting in temperatures 15-20 degrees above normal for this time of year, National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Sirard told City News Service.

“There is going to be some triple-digit heat Friday into Saturday and more widespread on Sunday,” when some record or near-record highs were forecast, he said.

Temperatures ranged from the high 80s to low 90s in the coastal areas today and from the 90s to low-100s in valley areas, Sirard said.

“It’s definitely hot enough to call it a heat wave,” he said.

By Sunday, highs of 100 to 108 degrees are forecast for the the valleys, while temperatures are expected to range from the mid-90s to low-100s on the coastal plain, including downtown Los Angeles, Sirard said.

Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday could top the 100-degree record set in 2012 and Woodland Hills could also surpass the record temperature of 107 that was set in 1971, he said.

The best place to be come Sunday will probably be the area’s beaches, where highs in the mid- to upper-80s are forecast, according to Sirard.

The heat wave is not expected to include high winds, a key ingredient in sparking and spreading wildfires, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a hazardous-weather outlook.

Still, the combination of dry air and high temperatures will “bring elevated fire danger to our region,” Sirard said.

“If any fire does break out it could still be pretty nasty and probably spread pretty quickly with the heat, but it would be worse with high winds, which we are not expecting at this time,” he said.

Relative humidity levels were expected to range between 10 and 20 percent and even dip into the single digits in some valleys as well as mountain and desert areas, Sirard said.

The high pressure in the atmosphere combined with weak offshore winds will make for a weak marine layer and afternoon winds out of the south and southwest won’t be strong enough to bring cooling relief inland, he said.

The NWS warned residents to protect themselves and their pets against dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and hyperthermia. It issued a set of five instructions on its website:

— Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

— Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. Save activities for the coolest time of the day.

— Stay cool. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Spend more time in air-conditioned places.

— Your car is an oven. Do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

— Remember your animals. Be mindful of heat impacts on livestock and pets. Provide plenty of shade and water.”

In several areas, a cooling trend will start Tuesday, but temperatures were nonetheless expected to remain in the upper-80s and low-90s in valley areas, Sirard said, adding that slightly temperatures were forecast in coastal areas.

— City News Service

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