Southern California braces for another September heat wave
The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings and heat advisories for much of Southern California this week, as another heat wave could send temperatures into the triple digits.
A heat warning is in effect for the valleys of Los Angeles County, and a heat advisory has been issued for the inland coast, including downtown L.A. Both are set to expire Tuesday at 8 p.m.
The valleys could see temperatures as high as 102 degrees through Wednesday, and the mountains and deserts could hit 100. The coastal areas should only be a few degrees higher than normal, rising to about 88 degrees.
While still dangerously warm in some areas, the current heat wave should last only about two days, and is on the “lower end” of the historic heat wave earlier this month, according to Andrew Rorke, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Earlier estimates said the fault zone could generate up to a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, but a new report shows it could produce a quake as strong as 7.8.
“This is much shorter duration and noticeably lower temperatures,” Rorke said.
A warm, high pressure air mass, compounded by a slight offshore push delaying the sea breeze, is driving the current stretch of extreme heat, Rorke said. But he reassured Angelenos this is not déjà vu of the historic heat wave that kicked off September: The temperatures are expected to be 5 degrees to 10 degrees cooler, and the event will be seven days fewer, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
“This is not a record-breaking heat wave by any means,” Rorke said, adding that because it is a Santa Ana season, records are “high and out of reach.” And unlike the last heat wave, the lows will not remain so stubbornly high that “there is no hope overnight,” he said.
Officials said 16 homes were damaged or destroyed after a mudslide Sept. 12. One woman was found dead in her home.
Farther south, heat warnings are in effect for the Inland Empire through 8 p.m. Wednesday. Inland Orange County could reach 100 degrees, and the Inland Empire could see temperatures hit 106.
A heat advisory is in effect through 8 p.m. for the Orange County coastal areas, where temperatures could rise to 92 degrees.
The current stretch of high temperatures are slightly mitigated by lower humidity levels, said Mark Moede, a meteorologist with the weather service in San Diego. “The lower humidity compared to what we had weeks ago will make it a little more tolerable,” Moede said.
Elevated fire danger is a persistent concern during a heat wave, but meteorologists say they do not predict Santa Ana winds this week, which lowers this threat level.
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