High Heat, Fire Danger Expected Later this Week

(CNS) - Temperatures will reach dangerous levels in much of Southern California late this week and into the weekend, and elevated fire danger will confront the region, the National Weather Service said today.

``A strong upper level high pressure system is forecast to expand westward from the Central United States later this week, causing heat to build significantly across Southwestern California,” according to an NWS statement.

The NWS said a fairly deep marine layer and onshore flow will keep temperatures near or below normal across most of the region through Independence Day. But on Thursday, the atmosphere will begin to warm, the marine layer will become more shallow, and onshore flow will decrease.

``This will lead to noticeable warming on Thursday, especially inland, where high temperatures should approach 100 degrees in the Antelope Valley, in the mountains at lower elevations, in the interior valleys of San Luis Obispo County and in the Cuyama Valley. Temperatures could even get close to 100 degrees Thursday in some of the warmest locations in the Los Angeles and Ventura County valleys.”

Gusty north winds are expected to develop across southern Santa Barbara County and possibly through the Interstate 5 corridor Thursday night. ``... The combination of gusty winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity will increase fire danger substantially, possibly approaching critical levels,” according to the statement.

On Friday and Saturday, high temperatures will likely be between 100 and 112 degrees in many valley locations, in the mountains at lower elevations, and in the Antelope Valley. Many daily high temperature records are likely to be broken both days.

``The very high daytime temperatures and limited overnight cooling will create significant heat stress for people in the region. If computer models, which have been consistent, continue to show this event unfolding as is, Excessive Heat Watches will likely have to be issued for a good portion of the region, and Heat Advisories may be needed in most other areas,” the NWS warned.

``People should plan to reduce time in the sun during peak heating hours later this week into this weekend and drink additional water to keep hydrated.”

Photo: Getty Images

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