Today is shaping up to be the hottest day this week, as a heat wave cranks up temperatures well past the 100 degree mark in much of Southern California.
Temperatures are expected to reach 110 or even a few degrees warmer in the Coachella Valley and deserts of San Diego County. The Inland Empire can expect to bake at 105 to 108 for the day while the valleys are looking at hitting 100 degrees. As usual, the coast will be about 10 degrees cooler – and a trip to cool off at the beach should be family friendly with smaller waves expected.
And yeah, it does seem hotter than usual for what are the last days of many summer vacations – National Weather Service staffers said the temps Southern Californians are seeing this week are about 5 degrees to 10 degrees warmer than usual for early August – save for Coachella Valley and the deserts, which are about average.
The week started with warmer than normal, though not record breaking, temps. Palm Springs clocked in Monday at 115 degrees; temps cooled off heading inland, reaching 105 to 107 in San Bernardino County, 105 to 109 in parts of the Inland Empire, and a cool mid-80s along the coast.
Thermal and Campo tied with records those cities set previously in the 1990s, reaching 116 degrees in Thermal and 105 degrees in Campo.
As residents cranked their air conditioners to combat the temperature rise, Southern California Edison recorded 21 outages on Monday across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Tulare and Ventura counties, company spokeswoman Susan Cox said.
Stay indoors and in front of that A/C if you can, Stephen Bauer, the associate medical director at Los Alamitos Medical Center, said.
“During times of excess heat and humidity, it is important to avoid direct exposure to the elements and stay well hydrated with cool – not ice-cold – water, and use sports drinks sparingly or diluted with water. Ideally, staying indoors with air conditioning is best,” Bauer said in an e-mail.
Residents without access to air conditioning should camp out inside during the peak hours of sunlight and wear loose, light clothing, he said, adding a damp, cool cloth around the neck and good ventilation will also help.
“Those most at risk are: the young, the old, those with many medical problems, homeless, outdoor workers,” Bauer said. “And don’t forget about your pets.”
Wednesday should afford a slight break in the heat, and by the weekend temperatures should be down about 10 degrees throughout the region. Monsoonal moisture is expected to move inland on Wednesday and Thursday morning, however. The National Weather Service expects humidity to be around 90 percent on the coast and 60 to 80 percent throughout the rest of Southern California.
“It will be pretty humid in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday. Humidity will die down in the afternoon,” Samantha Connolly, a meteorologist with the agency’s San Diego office, said. “Still muggy, but not quite (as much). It’ll be a similar situation for Thursday.”
Temperatures are expected to drop this weekend to the low 80s at the coast; the upper 80s in the valleys and farther inland; to upwards of 98 degrees in the Inland Empire; and 105 degrees to 108 degrees in Coachella Valley. Humidity is also expected to drop on Saturday, but increase again Sunday morning.
Red-flag warnings – when conditions are ideal for wildfires to start – have been issued for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties; the Santa Clarita valley; and Santa Barbara County. Extreme fire concerns were expected to last throughout today.