A sweltering heat wave is expected to hit Southern California by the end of the week, bringing the potential for record-breaking temperatures after a month sprinkled with June gloom.
A ridge of high pressure expanding westward is expected to peak Friday or Saturday, the National Weather Service said. At the same time, parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties — such as the southern coast of Santa Barbara and the Interstate 5 corridor — could see gusty winds.
In Los Angeles, temperatures in the valleys could reach anywhere between 105 to 112 degrees, forecasters said. Temperatures could reach the upper 80s along the coast, while downtown is expected to hit 100 degrees.
“For downtown, the normal high for this time of year is around 82 degrees,” said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “We’re forecasting record highs for both dates. The current record for Friday is currently 94, and for Saturday the current record is 96.”
The weather service warned of the potential for heat-related illness and said the very hot and dry conditions, coupled with gusty northerly winds, will increase the risk for large fires. A large south swell will likely lead to high surf and dangerous rip currents at the beach.
“For people who are looking to hit the beach or head over to Avalon or something like that, there will be extra concerns,” Munroe said.
Surf heights between 8 to 11 feet could hit south-facing beaches such as Port Hueneme, Zuma Beach, Cayucos, and areas near Long Beach, he added. Large sneaker waves will be possible Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.
“Fortunately, the Fourth of July is going to be mild in comparison,” Munroe said.