Scorching temperatures are in the forecast Wednesday for the third straight day in Riverside County, though moist air and weaker winds will reduce the danger from wildfires, forecasters said.
Much cooler weather will soon be on the way, but Wednesday will remain hot from the Inland Empire to the Coachella Valley, a day after Idyllwild set a new October 24 heat record, and two days after Riverside and Palm Springs set or tied high-temperature records for October 23.
With temperatures expected to once again approach triple digits near Riverside, Lake Elsinore and Temecula, the National Weather Service has extended an excessive heat warning that went into effect earlier in the week. That warning was scheduled to expire at 8 p.m. Tuesday but has been extended until 8 p.m. Wednesday for the Inland Empire and the inland valleys.
A wind advisory for the mountains, valleys and Inland Empire was canceled just after 8 a.m. Wednesday about six hours before it was set to expire. A red flag fire warning for those same areas remains in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.
No advisories were in effect in the Coachella Valley, though temperatures there were again expected to reach close to triple digits.
Despite the NWS’ red flag fire warning for western Riverside County, the U.S. Forest Service said “Santa Ana winds are either not expected, or will not contribute to significant fire activity.”
That’s in part due to weaker winds only gusting up to 25 mph through mid- morning before dying down later in the day, and in part due to slightly moister air, with humidity forecast in the 8 to 18 percent range.
But despite a better outlook on the winds and the humidity, the heat will still be in full effect Wednesday. High temperatures will be 96 to 101 in Riverside and the Inland Empire, 78 to 86 in the mountains, 92 to 97 at the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and 95 to 100 in the Coachella Valley.
On Tuesday, Idyllwild hit 88 degrees to break the previous high of 87 set in 1959. On Monday, Riverside set a new Oct. 23 heat record of 102 degrees, besting the previous high of 101 set in 1959, and Palm Springs at 104 matched its record for the date set in 2003.
Higher humidity, lower temperatures and lighter winds are expected by Thursday across all of Riverside County, according to the weather service, though temperatures will remain above average for this time of year. By this time next week, temperatures are expected to be back around seasonal averages.
–City News Service