A bout of hot, dry, windy weather in Southern California this week, prompting the National Weather Service to caution about fire weather conditions.
A familiar late-summer cocktail of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity will create hazardous conditions this week, prompting the National Weather Service to caution about elevated fire risk for the Southland’s valleys, mountains and deserts.
With a meager to nonexistent marine layer putting little moisture in the air, the sun will be shining hot on Southern California this week. People are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned place whenever possible, avoid the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.
But for some, Monday’s heat was an invitation to play with water, seek shade or even cool off with an ice-cold snack.
Temperatures are expected to reach triple digits in lower mountain ranges and valleys — five to 10 degrees hotter than usual, the weather service reported. Some of the worst of the heat will be in the Antelope Valley and southern Santa Barbara County, where temperatures are likely to hover between 95 and 105 degrees, according to the weather service.
“Basically we have an area of high pressure sitting over Southern California that, combined with [the] local wind pattern, are preventing the marine layer and sea breeze from providing much relief,” weather service meteorologist David Sweet said.
The fear in such heat, as always, is that a discarded cigarette or stray spark will ignite dried-out brush, and winds will quickly fan the flames into a wildfire like the Hungry fire, which began in northern Los Angeles County on Saturday. That fire spread to 340 acres, but county fire crews had it 55% contained as of Sunday night.
The worst of the weather will probably taper off Wednesday. After that, Sweet said, expect “gradual cooling through the end of the week and then better cooling over the weekend as our natural air conditioner comes back — marine layer and sea breeze.”
Reporting by Faith E. Pinho. Photo editing by Jacob Moscovitch.
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