"Dangerous" Heat Wave Could Last Through Labor Day Weekend

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A warning of excessive heat was in force today in the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles County amid more triple-digit forecasts, with a high of 111 again expected in Woodland Hills.

“The combination of strong high pressure and weak onshore flow will continue to produce dangerously hot temperatures across the region through at least the end of the week and possibly into the labor day weekend,'' according to a National Weather Service statement, which predicted more heat records a day after a few were set.

The highest temperatures will be in the valleys and mountains at lower elevations. An excessive heat warning will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday in the Antelope, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and at lower elevations in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. Highs in those areas will range between 98 and 112 while overnight lows will be warm as well, ranging from the 70s to the mid 80s, NWS forecasters said.

A less severe heat advisory will be in force, also until 10 p.m. Friday, along the L.A. County coast, in beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles -- including the Downtown area -- and the Hollywood Hills. Temperatures in those areas will range from the upper 80s to the mid 90s, with overnight lows falling only to a range between the upper 60s and mid 70s.

Today's temperatures will be only around 5 degrees above normal at the beach but 12-15 degrees above normal in downtown L.A. and 15-20 degrees above normal in the valleys and mountain, NWS meteorologist Andrew Rorke said in a telephone interview from his monitoring station in Oxnard. These levels will persist through Friday and perhaps into Saturday as well, he said.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's electric grid, Tuesday issued a statewide Flex Alert, calling for voluntary electricity conservation from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nonetheless, some outages occurred, and crews were working this morning to restore power to more than 8,500 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers in the San Fernando Valley.

In Pacoima, 4,150 customers were without power, as were nearly 2,000 customers in the Valley Glen area near North Hollywood.

Forecasters said they expect more heat records today. Lancaster reached a high of 109 degrees Tuesday, breaking the record for an August 28, which was 107 and set in 1998. Sandberg, a mountain locale in the Antelope Valley,  reached 103 degrees, breaking the record of 97 set in 2007. Woodland Hills reached 112 degrees, tying the record set in 1996.

Forecasters again warned area residents to protect themselves and those close to them from the high heat. Their recommendations include avoiding strenuous work in high heat, wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing, staying well-hydrated, checking on friends and relatives, especially the elderly, and never leaving children, seniors or pets in parked cars since vehicle interiors can rapidly turn deadly hot.

The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 77 in Avalon; 82 at LAX; 91 in Long Beach; 94 on Mount Wilson; 95 in Downtown L.A.; 98 in San Gabriel; 100 in Burbank and Pasadena; 107 in Palmdale; 108 in Lancaster; 109 in Saugus; and 111 in Woodland Hills. L.A. County temperatures will begin to fall on Sunday, but very slightly.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 76 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 77 in San Clemente; 94 in Irvine; 95 in Anaheim; 97 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 100 in Yorba Linda. Little change is expected in Orange County temperatures over the next several days, although a slight temperature increase is expected starting Friday, lasting three days in some communities.

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