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'Heat Dome' stretches to Southern California, causing temperatures to soar over 100

If you're planning to stay in Southern California for the next week, there's no escaping the "heat dome."

Centered over the Midwest, the large dome has been bringing high humidity and intense heat to 21 states and the District of Columbia. Now, that dome of high pressure is blanketing the Southland.

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"That dome has been stretching and broadening and has reached over our area," said meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

According to the weather service, the dome is created when air sinks below a slow-moving high pressure system and caps the atmosphere.

The only saving grace is a summer monsoon over Arizona, which brings moisture and some cooler temperatures, Hoxsie said.

Of course, that brings it's own problems — notably sticky humidity, she said.

In the past day, temperatures jumped three degrees, Hoxsie said.

Temperatures are expected to climb to 108 in Lancaster on Friday and 104 in Palmdale on Saturday. Those two days will be the hottest of a heat wave that is expected to last through July 27, Hoxsie said.

The scorching heat prompted county public health officials to issue a heat alert for Los Angeles, the valleys and desert.

Long Beach residents, however, looking for relief from the heat won't find it along their local coastline.  A 2.4 million-gallon sewage spill has closed miles of coastline in Long Beach until Saturday at the earliest.

Until then, Los Angeles County residents can visit one of dozens of cooling centers. Residents can also call the county's information line at 2-1-1 for more details on cooling centers.

"While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out to those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of extreme heat, including children, the elderly and their pets," the county's Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser said in a statement.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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