Heat wave intensifies Friday in SoCal

- The region's heat wave will intensify Friday, with temperatures reaching or surpassing the century mask in several communities, and the humidity could make the weather feel even more dreadful than it already is, forecasters said.

The hottest temperatures -- between 100 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit -- will strike the valleys Friday, according to a National Weather Service statement, while desert areas register highs of between 100 and 102 and coastal temperatures range from 75 to 85 near the beach and 85 to 95 inland.

The heat wave -- resulting from high pressure over the region -- will end Saturday, when a cooling trend will get underway.

"The hot conditions may result in an increase in heat-related illnesses, especially for the homeless, elderly, infants, outdoor workers and those participating in outdoor activities," the statement warned. "The
extended period of hot and dry conditions will The Southland will bake for one more day today before the region's three-day heat wave gives way to a cooling trend.

Until lower temperatures kick in Saturday, helped by a return of onshore winds, highs in the 100s are again expected today in the San Gabriel, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, and metropolitan Los Angeles will be in the mid 90s, according to National Weather Service forecasts. Saturday's highs generally will be one to five degrees lower than today's.

Humidity levels will remain higher than usual today, making it feel even hotter, although humidity will generally stay under 20 percent, forecasters said. For the first time this week, the National Weather Service did not specifically warn of an elevated danger of wildfire.

"High pressure and offshore flow will bring above-normal temperatures through Saturday,'' according to the NWS. ``The high will weaken Sunday for a cooling trend and below-normal temperatures by mid next week. An upper-level trough over the West Coast will bring increasing onshore flow and spread coastal clouds and fog inland each night through morning next week.''

Forecasters urged people to protect themselves and their loved ones.

They said residents should stay well-hydrated, avoid working in the sun, check on neighbors and relatives -- especially the elderly -- and provide plenty of water to pets and livestock.

It is also critically important never to leave children, the elderly or pets in closed cars parked in hot weather, forecasters stressed.

Los Angeles County health officials declared a heat alert through at least Friday for the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and eastern San Gabriel valleys. County officials noted that cooling centers will be available throughout the county. A list is available online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

No specific weather advisory was issued for Los Angeles County as of this morning, but a heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service monitoring station in San Diego will be in force from noon to 6 p.m. in inland areas of Orange County.

The weather service forecast sunny skies today and highs of 81 in San Clemente; 83 in Avalon, Newport Beach and at LAX; 86 in Laguna Beach; 94 in Long Beach, downtown L.A. and on Mount Wilson; 96 in Irvine; 97 in San Gabriel; 98 in Anaheim; 99 in Fullerton; 100 in Pasadena, Burbank and Mission Viejo; 101 in Yorba Linda; 102 in Saugus and Palmdale; 103 in Lancaster; and 105 in Woodland Hills.

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