Another heat wave targets Southern California

- Another heat wave is about to hit the Southland, with temperatures expected to soar up to 18 degrees above normal in L.A. County between Monday morning and Thursday evening, forecasters said Friday.

The expected high heat will result from very strong high pressure, along with warm offshore winds from the north, which are rare for this time of the year, said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. The heat will heighten wildfire concerns, he said.

Kaplan said Thursday's high is expected to be around 108 degrees in Woodland Hills, which would be 18 degrees above normal. The normal high in Downtown L.A. for this time of the year is 84 degrees, but next week's Downtown highs are expected to be in the mid 90s, he said. Adding to what is likely to be widespread misery, the nights will not cool down all that much. Nighttime temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70s Downtown and in the valleys, and the low 80s in the deserts, Kaplan said.

An excessive heat watch issued by the NWS will be in effect in L.A. County from Monday morning through Thursday evening. In Orange County, an excessive heat warning, which is slightly more serious, will be in effect from 10 a.m. Monday until 8 p.m. Thursday.

An NWS statement warned that the expected temperatures create an ``increased potential for serious heat-related illnesses, especially for the young and elderly, those performing outdoor activities, as well as those without access to air conditioning.'' There also will be an ``increased potential for power outages.''

``A prolonged period of very hot days combined with very warm nights is expected to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,'' the NWS warned. If possible, schedule any strenuous activities for the early morning or evening, the statement urged, adding that anyone working outside should wear lightweight clothing of light colors, drink lots of water and take frequent breaks. And ``never, ever, leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles, even for a short period of time,'' the statement stressed.

The NWS forecast a combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies in L.A. County today and highs of 79 in Avalon and at LAX; 83 in Long Beach; 84 on Mount Wilson; 86 in Downtown L.A.; 87 in Burbank; 88 in San Gabriel; 90 in Pasadena; 92 in Saugus; 96 in Woodland Hills; and 97 in Palmdale and Lancaster.

Temperatures will be about the same through Sunday, then spike Monday, when Downtown L.A. will reach a high of 92, followed by 95 Tuesday, 96 Wednesday and 95 Thursday. Woodland Hills, expected to reach a high of 96 today, will go up to 105 Monday, 107 Tuesday, 108 Wednesday and 107 Thursday. Orange County temperatures will also spike starting Monday, although highs will not reach as high as in L.A County.

As always, Orange County temperatures will be lowest at the coast. Laguna Beach, which will reach a high of 78 today, will reach 81 Monday, then stay in the low 80s at least through Thursday. Yorba Linda, 88 today, will hit 97 Monday, 100 on Tuesday and Wednesday, then 96 Thursday.

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