S. California heat wave could break all-time records, raising fears of effects

By Alex Wigglesworth and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

LOS ANGELES - A dangerous and potentially historic heat wave is forecast to tighten its grip on Southern California this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to reach 118 degrees in Woodland Hills, 114 in Pasadena, 112 in Burbank and 110 in Simi Valley on Saturday and Sunday, said David Sweet, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

"Some of these temperatures could be the all-time record for the location," Sweet said.

Temperatures in many inland areas were well into the triple digits by 12:30 p.m., the Weather Service said.

Already on Friday, a record-high temperature of 109 degrees was set at Palmdale Airport, breaking the old record of 107 set on that date in 1955. Lancaster Fox Field tied a record of 108 also set in 1955.

The forecast prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an emergency proclamation aimed at shoring up California's energy capacity and staving off the kind of power outages and rolling blackouts that left tens of thousands of residents in the dark during the last big heat wave.


The California Independent System Operator, which runs the power grid for most of the state, has issued a statewide flex alert - calling for residents to voluntarily cut back their electricity consumption from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

The heat is coming from a strong area of high pressure, "like a big dome of warm air, and it's sitting directly over the area," Sweet said.

That means temperatures also won't drop as much overnight as usual, dipping to the high 80s in the foothill areas and the 70s in most other places, he said.

"That does not allow the body to cool off very much, and that's one reason we're very concerned about this heat wave," Sweet said.


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