Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Temperatures began rising in the Southland Wednesday, ushering in a heat wave that will heighten the risk of fire and heat-related illnesses, especially for vulnerable residents such as children and senior citizens.

“The hottest conditions are expected Thursday through Sunday, when temperatures will be up to 10 degrees above normal for some inland areas,” according to the National Weather Service.

Maximum temperatures will range from 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit in coastal and inland areas while highs of between 100 and 105 hit the valleys during the heat wave. Overall temperatures will remain above normal Monday, according to the NWS.

The NWS attributed the heat wave to high pressure over the central United States that is expanding westward. The NWS said “hot and dry conditions” will create “elevated fire danger.”

“Relative humidity values Wednesday have been in the teens and single digits for many inland areas from Los Angeles County to Santa Barbara County,” according to the NWS. “The driest air has been in the Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains, where a number of sites have been recording single-digit humidity values.

“Similar conditions will continue through the end of the week,” forecasters said.

The NWS also issued a warning about personal safety.

“The hot conditions may result in an increase in heat-related illnesses, especially for the homeless, elderly, infants, outdoor workers and those participating in outdoor activities,” it said, offering a list of precautions to follow, especially to protect children and senior citizens. They included:

— drink plenty of water;

— never leave kids, pets, or elderly people alone in vehicles;

— wear light-colored and lightweight  clothing;

— stay out of the midday sun;

— check on neighbors and the elderly; and

— provide shade and water for livestock and pets.

The temperature neared 100 degrees this afternoon in Van Nuys and Chatsworth, while downtown Los Angeles had temperatures in the 80s.

Thursday’s temperatures will be higher across the area — four or five degrees in some communities — and rise a little more on Friday.

—City News Service

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