How to survive this weekend’s intense California heat wave

A man and a boy swing a strand of seaweed for a girl to play jump rope at Manhattan Beach
Michael Valdez, left, of Culver City and his son Michael Jr., 8, swing a strand of seaweed like a jump rope for his daughter Maddie, 5, at Manhattan Beach on May 13.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

The first major heat wave of the year is arriving in California..

“We’ve had some prior heat waves this year, but not as intense as this one or as long duration,” National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Tardy said in a briefing about the excessive heat.


In Southern California, the scorching temperatures began in inland areas on Thursday, with highs getting into the 90s in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.


Idyllwild tied its record for the day at 91 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday and Saturday will be worse.

The Antelope Valley could soar to 105 degrees by Saturday, a potential record. Thermal is slated to hit 115 degrees.

Multiple excessive heat warnings and heat advisories have been issued in the state.

Temperatures in most areas will cool, but just a bit, Sunday.


In Los Angeles, temperatures will be far higher in inland areas than on the coast, according to David Sweet, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard.

Temperatures are expected to be as high as 106 degrees in Sacramento on Friday and 117 degrees in Borrego Springs on Saturday.

Adam Roser, a meteorologist with the weather service in San Diego, also noted that nighttime temperatures will remain toasty during the heat wave, including overnight lows in the 80s in Coachella and Palm Springs.


“Overnight lows will be quite warm,” Roser said. “So there’s very little in the way of relief.”

Air quality

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a heat wave ozone advisory for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties through Sunday, where high smog levels are expected as temperatures rise.

“Elevated temperatures, which enhance ozone formation rates and increase emissions of chemicals leading to ozone formation, coupled with predicted light winds may cause unusually high and persistent levels of ozone pollution,” the agency said.


Forecasters this week are advising residents to stay hydrated, seek shade and avoid strenuous activity outdoors. People should wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and never leave children or pets alone in a car.


Here are some tips from L.A. County:

  • Avoid the sun — Stay indoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the burning rays are strongest.
  • Hydrate — Drink plenty of water during times of extreme heat.
  • Replace salt and minerals — Sweating removes salt and minerals from your body, so replenish these nutrients with low-sugar fruit juices or sports drinks during exercise or when working outside.
  • Avoid alcohol — Alcohol can cause dehydration. Drinking alcohol within 24 hours of working in the heat can increase the risk of heat illness.
  • Pace yourself — Reduce physical activity and avoid exercising outdoors during peak heat hours.
  • Wear appropriate clothing — Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes when you are outdoors.
  • Stay cool indoors — Set your air conditioner thermostat to between 75 and 80 degrees. If you don’t have air conditioning, take a cool shower twice a day and visit a public air conditioned facility.
  • Monitor those at high risk — Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning. Infants and children up to 4 years old, people who overexert themselves during work or exercise (e.g. construction workers) and people 65 and older are at the highest risk of heat-related illnesses.
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 if you need to be in the sun.
  • Keep pets safe — Heat also affects your pets, keep them indoors or if they will be outside, make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area to help them keep cool. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even if the window is cracked or open.