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Excessive heat brings dangers to Southern California, weather service warns

Excessive heat brings dangers to Southern California, weather service warns
Cole Biegenzahn, 7 eats ice cream by Kid Space Museum. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

A heat wave that has been baking Los Angeles all week is expected to peak Thursday and could be a danger for the very young and the elderly, the National Weather Service said.

"It looks like today is going to be the hottest day. It's going to be really hot," said NWS weather specialist Stuart Seto.

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Temperatures in Woodland Hills are expected to top out at about 105  degrees, which, while plenty hot, is still a few notches away from the record temperature for this day in 1981 when it was 111 degrees.

Downtown Los Angeles will cook in 94 degree heat and won't get much respite on Friday, Seto said, with temperatures forecast to hover around 92 degrees.

From the mountains and inland deserts to downtown, temperatures all week have been about 10 degrees above normal thanks to a high-pressure system that flowed west from Texas.

On Wednesday, Paso Robles Airport tied its record for the date of 105 degrees, set in 1967.

"Temperatures may be high enough to create health risks for infants, the elderly, outdoor workers and those participating in strenuous outdoor activities," the weather service cautioned in a statement Thursday morning.

Excessive heat is forecast from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo counties.

Though temperatures will begin to drop Saturday, relief won't fully arrive until next week when a weather system flowing south brings cooler air from the Pacific Northwest, Seto said.

This week's heat has also intensified the fire risk for Southern California's drought-parched mountains and grass hillsides, authorities say.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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