LOS ANGELES — A historic heat is expected to maintain its hold on Southern California through Labor Day, bringing dangerous conditions and causing an increased danger of wildfires.
Forecasters said some all-time temperature records could be set in some areas on Sunday.
An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service will be in effect until 8 p.m. Monday in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, Santa Catalina Island and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys. In Orange County, the warning will be in force in coastal areas from 10 a.m. Saturday until 8 p.m. Monday.
On Saturday, Woodland Hills broke its all-time record with a temperature of 118, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record of 114 was set in 1955.
The temperature in Palmdale hit 111 degrees Saturday, which broke a record 109 set on September 2, 1996, according to the NWS.
Elsewhere, Van Nuys had reached 115 degrees by 3 p.m., while it was 115 in Chatsworth and Duarte, 114 in Calabasas, 113 in Pasadena, 112 in Santa Clarita and 111 in Burbank.
Temperatures also rose sharply in Orange County, where it was 108 degrees in Fullerton at 3 p.m.
“The very hot conditions through Labor Day will bring an increased threat of large fire activity including fires with large vertical growth,” the NWS tweeted.
“These highs on Saturday and Sunday will be about 15-25 (degrees) above normal across the region,” according to an NWS statement. “Temps will become dangerously hot for most areas, even over the coastal plain away from the beaches Saturday and Sunday. This kind of heat can be life-threatening and people are urged to use common sense, keep hydrated and stay out of the heat and in air-conditioned locations as much as possible.”
The high temperatures were also sparking concerns about demand on the state’s power grid as residents turn up their air conditioners.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages the power grid, announced that a Flex Alert — a call for voluntary conservation — will be in effect from 3 to 9 p.m. through Monday. Urging voluntary conservation is an effort to stave off too much strain on the state’s electrical system, possibly leading to rolling power outages, like those that occurred during high heat last month.
Southern California Edison was reported several power outages Saturday afternoon, including one affecting 14,413 customers in Monterey Park, 1,752 in Alhambra and another affecting 214 customers in Rolling Hills Estates.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power also reported a handful of scattered outages as of 3:30 p.m., including one affecting 62 customers in Sun Valley and another affecting 23 customers in Mission Hills.
Authorities advised that children, seniors and pets must never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances since temperatures can quickly turn lethal in the current conditions.
Authorities noted that due to the coronavirus pandemic, cooling centers will be limited in capacity and restrictions will be in place, such as requiring face coverings.
The high heat is being attributed to high pressure, which is forecast to settle into the Great Basin area through the weekend.
In forecasting an increased fire danger, forecasters said they were mainly focusing on the dryness that will take hold in the region, partly because of the absence of monsoonal moisture. Forecasters said humidity levels will fall to single digits in interior areas of L.A. County. But no red flag warnings indicating a high risk of wildfires are likely to be issued, principally because a key component of fire weather is missing — strong winds, forecasters said.
Red flag warnings were issued, however, in parts of Riverside and San Diego counties.
The heat was expected to ease by about 10-12 degrees on Monday, but still remain above 100 degrees in many areas.
Source: Orange County Register