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As temperatures hit record highs, Flex Alert urges Californians to save energy Saturday evening

Faith E. Pinho, Rachel Schnalzer and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

An intense heat wave brought dangerous conditions to inland and desert regions of Southern California on Saturday.

State energy officials announced a Flex Alert, asking residents to conserve power and set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday because of wildfire threats.

By noon Saturday, inland valleys from Los Angeles to San Diego had hit the century mark with some areas breaking temperature records.

Palmdale Regional Airport hit a new high for the day at 110 degrees, and the Paso Robles airport tied its previous 1961 record of 114 as of 3 p.m, according to the National Weather Service.

“Borrego had a low of 88, breaking their old record of 87 from 1985. At 1 a.m. it is still in the mid-upper 90s in the deserts,” the National Weather Service said Friday. “Lows will only drop into the upper-80s to low-90s in the deserts, so the natural relief overnight will be minimal.”

Temperatures along the coast were expected to stay mild, in the 70s and low 80s. Much of Southern California was blanketed until Monday morning by excessive heat that could send temperatures as high as 120 degrees.

Among the areas likely to be hit hardest are the San Diego County deserts, the Coachella and Antelope valleys, interior San Luis Obispo County and the Cuyama Valley. Saturday will likely be the hottest day in this heat wave, forecasters said.

Temperatures in the Apple and Lucerne valleys could climb as high as 120 degrees by the weekend — potentially the hottest of the year so far.

 

And in Death Valley, the notoriously scorching desert temperatures are expected to reach a blazing 130 degrees Sunday — potentially equaling the hottest temperature recorded on Earth in nearly a century.

The weather service also issued a heat advisory for the Santa Clarita Valley as well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura County mountains, areas where temperatures could soar to 105.

Forecasters warn humidity is also expected to be low, around 10% to 13%. The combination of low humidity, high heat and gusty winds create an elevated fire risk.

With highs expected near 112 degrees, “we could be looking at some daily records in Fresno, especially on Sunday and Monday,” said meteorologist Colin McKellar at the weather service’s Hanford office. In addition, Bakersfield, Merced and other areas of the Central Valley may break daily heat records over the weekend into Monday, McKellar said.

The Indian Wells Valley may experience its hottest day on record, McKellar said, with a high near 118 possible Saturday.

Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area are expecting temperatures up to 121, according to the weather service.

©2021 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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