Fire Weather Watch Issued for Much of Southland

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A fire weather watch was added today to the heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service as a result of the region's autumn heat wave, and residents statewide are being urged to conserve their electricity use this afternoon and evening.

The fire weather watch will be in effect from late Thursday through Friday afternoon in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the Santa Clarita Valley and areas of Ventura County amid high temperatures, humidity levels as low as 6% and Santa Ana winds of 20-30 miles per hour, generating gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour.

A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur.

A heat advisory, meanwhile, will be in effect until 5 p.m. Friday along the L.A. County coast, in Malibu, Santa Monica and other beach cities, in metropolitan Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills, the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and inland Orange County, indicating temperatures could threaten human health.

“Hot temperatures may cause heat illnesses to occur,'' warned an NWS statement. “Those without air conditioning will be especially vulnerable during this extended heat wave. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.''

The NWS stressed that children, seniors and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, even with windows open as car interiors can quickly turn lethally hot.

The weather Service said hot and dry conditions would create an elevated risk of wildfire, but no red flag warnings were issued, although the NWS said it could still happen.

The NWS said the record high of 102 degrees for an Oct. 14 in Woodland Hills tied the record set in 1974, and the 88 recorded Wednesday in Sandberg bested the record 85 set in 2011.

The continued hot weather prompted the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, to issue a Flex Alert that will be in effect from 3 to 10 p.m. The alert urges residents to voluntarily cut their power to prevent strain on the grid, which could potentially lead to rolling power outages.

Residents were urged to take steps to cut power, such as delaying the use of major appliances, turning off unnecessary lights and closing curtains and drapes to cool homes.

A combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies was forecast in L.A County today, along with highs of 82 degrees in Avalon; 86 at LAX and on Mount Wilson; 93 in Long Beach and in Downtown L.A.; 94 in Palmdale; 95 in Lancaster; 96 in San Gabriel; 97 in Pasadena and Burbank; and 102 in Woodland Hills. A cooling trend will begin Saturday, and by Monday highs will be in the 70s and 80s.

Sunny skies were forecast everywhere in Orange County today, along with highs of 82 in San Clemente; 83 in Newport Beach; 84 in Laguna Beach and on Santiago Peak; 92 on Oetega Highway at 2600 feet; 93 at Fremont Canyon; 95 in Yorba Linda; 96 at Trabuco Canyon; 97 in Irvine and Anaheim; and 98 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo. As in L.A. County, a cooling trend will start Saturday, lowering temperatures to the 70s and 80s by Sunday.

Photo: Getty Images

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