Southland Faces 'Dangerously Hot Conditions,' Wildfire Risk, High Surf


US-EARTHQUAKE

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The National Weather Service today warned of oppressive heat this weekend beginning Friday, high surf and elevated fire danger.

The National Weather Service has revised the schedule it issued Wednesday regarding heat warnings in Southern California.

A heat advisory will be in force from 11 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday in L.A. County's coastal zone --- beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills. A more serious excessive heat warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Monday in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the San Gabriel, Santa Monica and -- below 5,000 feet -- the Santa Ana mountains in Orange County, and from 11 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Antelope Valley.

Triple-digit temperatures are expected in some L.A. County communities today, then will keep climbing.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,'' warned a National Weather Service statement.

“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. 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.''

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The NWS noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments to reduce health risks during outdoor work. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location, it said.

And the weather service stressed that children, seniors and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, especially in hot weather, when temperatures in vehicle interiors can quickly turn lethal.

Forecasters said there is a slight chance of light showers and afternoon thunderstorms today as moisture streams into the region from the south as a result of the former hurricane Elida, now only a tropical depression. NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan called it part of “a complicated pattern.''

He said the ridge of high pressure producing the heat would remain over the southwestern United States several days.

The NWS also warned of elevated critical fire-weather between Friday and Monday, in part, Kaplan said, because of very dry vegetation, providing fuel for wildfires. Another factor, he said, is the fact that surface winds coming from the north will be weak, keeping the ground warm. But as of Thursday morning, no red flag warnings had been issued.

Along the coast, rough seas are expected, forecasters said, producing surf of 3-5 feet, dangerous rip currents, and sneaker waves that could inundate beaches and overtop jetties.

“Stay out of the water or swim near a lifeguard,'' urged the NWS website.

Mostly cloudy skies were forecast for all of L.A. County today, along with highs of 79 at LAX; 82 in Avalon; 85 on Mount Wilson; 90 in Long Beach and Downtown L.A.; 94 in San Gabriel; 95 in Pasadena; 96 in Burbank; 101 in Woodland Hills; and 102 in Palmdale and Lancaster. Friday's highs will be 108 degrees in Woodland Hills, Palmdale and Lancaster. Saturday's highs will be around a degree higher in those communities, then descend to 106 on Sunday but remain in triple-digits through Wednesday.

Partly cloudy skies were expected in Orange County today along with highs of 79 in Laguna Beach; 80 in Newport Beach and San Clemente; 84 on Santiago Peak; 89 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 91 at Fremont Canyon and in Fullerton; 93 in Yorba Kinda; and 94 at Trabuco Canyon and in Mission Viejo. Highs in the 90s will last at least through Wednesday in Inland Orange County and the Santa Anas.

Photos: Getty Images


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