Thermostat - Photo courtesy of Dan Lefebvre on Unsplash

A protracted heat wave began pushing up temperatures Tuesday, marking the onset of an anticipated weeklong period of oppressive conditions that has prompted calls for residents to take precautions against heat stroke and to conserve power whenever possible.

Temperatures rose a few degrees Monday, but were spiking even more Tuesday. And the elevated temperatures will stick around through the Labor Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

“Temperatures are already trending up 5 to 10 degrees from this time yesterday, as the big warm-up begins,” according to the NWS. “We should see temperatures max out around 5 degrees above normal, and 5 to 10 degrees higher than yesterday. … The extreme heat is still on target with minimal changes expected.”

Forecasters said Wednesday will be “really hot” in the Southland, thanks to a growing high-pressure system, which will “result in temperatures well above 100 degrees over most if not all valleys and lower mountains.” Forecasters said Wednesday is likely to be the hottest day of the heat wave for those areas.

“The potential for Sunday and Monday being the hottest is still there, especially over the coasts and valleys,” according to the NWS. “Valley temperatures will approach all-time records.”

Forecasters said the heat will persist through Monday with the high-pressure system finally weakening next Tuesday. But some valley areas will likely still have extreme heat into next week.

In Orange County, an excessive heat warning took effect at 10 a.m. Tuesday and will continue through 8 p.m. Monday for coastal and inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains and foothills. Forecasters said OC beaches will be in the 80s, with inland areas hitting the 90s, and possibly up to 105 farther from the coast in cities such as Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine and Fullerton.

In Los Angeles County, the NWS issued an excessive heat warning that will be in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 8 p.m. Monday for the Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, the coastal region and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The Antelope Valley could see temperatures as high as 113 degrees during the heat wave, while other valley areas could hit 112 and the mountains and inland coastal areas could reach 105.

“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” the NWS urged. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.”

Forecasters urged residents to be aware of the signs of heat stroke and to take precautions.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” according to the NWS. “When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.”

Temperatures will be more manageable at the beaches, but will still climb into the upper 80s in Santa Monica beginning Wednesday. Long Beach will see highs in the upper 80s, rising to 89 and 91 next weekend.

Overnight lows will not offer much relief either, staying in the 70s and even in the low 80s in some of the hotter areas.

The extreme heat and low humidity could create elevated fire weather conditions as well, NWS forecasters said.

Cooling centers for Los Angeles County can be found at ready.lacounty.gov/heat/. Cooling centers for the city of Los Angeles can be found at emergency.lacity.org/la-responds/beat-heat, or by calling 311.

The high heat is also likely to increase electricity demand. As of Tuesday morning, the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, had not issued any Flex Alerts or other conservation warnings. But some local power companies urged customers to conserve energy where possible.

Officials with Glendale Water and Power urged residents to turn up their thermostats to at least 78 degrees and avoid the use of large appliances until after 8 p.m.

“During continuous days of high temperatures, making small conservation changes really make a big difference, and lessen the strain on our electrical grid,” Mark Young, general manager of GWP, said in a statement. “Our crews will be available to address any power outages that occur, however we are relying on Glendale residents to do their part and conserve as much as possible.”

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