Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Yes, it’s really hot in the Southland. And it’s going to get hotter through the weekend.

By late afternoon Friday, the mercury soared into triple digits in local valleys, with Van Nuys at 103. Even local beaches were in the low 80s, with Santa Monica at 81 at 4 p.m. Long Beach was 91 and downtown Los Angeles had a relatively mild 85 degrees.

The region’s heat wave intensified Friday, producing a “prolonged period of very hot weather through Sunday,” increasing the danger of wildfires and heat-related illnesses, according to the National Weather Service.

With highs expected to top 105 degrees in many communities, reaching 108 in the San Fernando Valley, the NWS issued an “excessive heat warning” that will be in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Good news? There’s a slight cooling trend expected to get under way Monday.

Forecasters said humidity levels could drop to around 10 to 15 percent in some inland areas, and winds could gust to 20 to 30 mph — creating heightened risk of wildfires each afternoon this weekend.

The excessive-heat warning for the area is expected to remain in effect until at least 8 p.m. Sunday, with some slight cooling expected to begin Monday.

“The prolonged heat wave will bring the risk of heat-related illness through the weekend. Those at highest risk include children, the elderly, and pets without adequate shelter,” warned an NWS statement.

It noted that “the heat will bring extra demand on electricity for the Southland, bringing an increased threat of power outages.”

Meanwhile, Los Angeles city officials said cooling center hours will be extended into the evenings this weekend.

Nine senior and recreational centers will be open from noon to 9 p.m. through Sunday, and the public can use any other parks facility for cooling purposes during regular business hours, Recreation and Parks officials said.

In the Chinatown area, the Alpine Recreation Center, at 817 Yale St., will be extending their hours. The center’s staff can be reached at (213) 485-5448.

In South Los Angeles Green Meadows Recreation Center, 431 E. 89th St., will extend its hours and can be reached at (323) 565-4242.

Cooling centers with extended hours are also sprinkled throughout the San Fernando Valley at the:

  • Canoga Senior Citizen Center, 7326 Jordan Ave., (818) 340-2633.
  • Lanark Recreation Center, 21816 Lanark St., (818) 883-1503.
  • Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd., (818) 899-8087.
  • North Hollywood Recreation Center, 11430 Chandler Blvd., (818) 763-7651.
  • Mid Valley Senior Center at Sepulveda Recreation Center, 8801 Kester Ave., (818) 893-3700.
  • Sherman Oaks/East Valley Adult Center, 5060 Van Nuys Blvd., (818) 981-1284.
  • And Sunland Park Senior Center, 8640 Fenwick St., (818) 353-9571.

NWS forecasters again urged area residents to protect themselves and their loved ones, recommending they:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing.
  • Stay out of the midday sun.
  • Provide shade and water for livestock and pets.
  • And check on neighbors and the elderly.

Forecasters also stressed that children, the elderly and pets should never be left in parked vehicles in the heat.

To help conserve energy, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recommended:

  • Adjusting thermostats to 78 degrees.
  • Limiting the use of appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers during peak hours.
  • Closing drapes and blinds.
  • Turning off lights in rooms not being used.
  • Unplugging devices that can use energy even when they’re not being used, such as cell phone chargers, DVD players and microwave ovens.
  • And ventilating homes by opening windows and doors to allow cooler air to circulate.

— City News Service

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