The heat wave forecasters have been warning about all week has officially taken hold, with temperatures today expected to hit triple digits across the Southland through Saturday.
Residents in the valleys can expect to see temperatures reach 106 in some cities as the heat wave peaks Saturday, the National Weather Service warned. And don’t expect much relief in coastal and mountain areas, where temperatures will hover between 90 and 100 degrees.
The heat is caused by high pressure from the mountains that is pushed down into the valleys and stays there, keeping out ocean breezes that typically flow inland and provide relief.
The effects of the high pressure, and Santa Ana winds, could already be felt Thursday as temperature records were broken across the map.
In Oxnard, the mercury hit 98, beating the record set in 1945 by 2 degrees, according the National Weather Service.
Temperatures hit 100 in Santa Maria, also breaking the 1945 record of 96 degrees. Santa Barbara also set a heat record of 94 degrees, beating the high mark set in 1991 by 3 degrees.
Sweltering heat forced Long Beach Unified School District to shorten school days Thursday and Friday since most campuses are not equipped with air conditioning.
And Los Angeles Unified canceled all outdoor activities and sports practices for Thursday and Friday in the San Fernando Valley because of the heat.
The hot temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions prompted the U.S. Forest Service to implement 24-hour firefighter staffing as officials issued red flag warnings across the Southland.
On Sunday, temperatures will begin drop, and by Wednesday, the region will return to more typical weather: mid-70s at the beaches, lower 80s inland.