LOS ANGELES—Several areas across the San Fernando Valley experienced dangerous, record-high temperatures this week when a heatwave overtook Southern California.
The heatwave peaked on Monday, June 20, with highs in Los Angeles reaching upwards of 120 degrees. Death Valley, at 123 degrees; Palm Springs, at 122 degrees; and Needles, at 121 degrees.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for inland, desert, and mountain areas, while a heat advisory went into effect for the coastal areas
Most temperatures in the area are still well over 100 degrees and several heat records were either tied or broken on Monday. LAX clocked in at 95 degrees, beating the 92-degree record set in 1973; UCLA reached 99 degrees, matching the high set in 1973; Bob Hope Airport in Burbank reached 111 degrees, topping the 106-degree record set it 2008; Woodland Hills reached 112 degrees, tying the 112-degree record set in 2008.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power urged residents to prepare for possible outages by having flashlights and batteries readily available and recommended keeping phone chargers in cars.
The soaring temperatures prompted state energy officials to issue a Flex Alert for Southern California – a Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures. When there are high temperatures, demand on the power grid can be strained as air conditioner use increases, according to the California ISO.
The Flex Alert was in effect June 20, between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. During those hours, consumers were urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon when air conditioners are at peak use, according to the Flex Alert issued by the California ISO; consumers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher.
Close to 20,000 people were without electricity when conditions were at their worst on Monday. Excessive heat warnings remained in effect until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, and inland Orange County.
Temperatures eased on Tuesday and were generally cooler along the coast; many areas in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys hovered in the 90s, while inland areas near the Antelope Valley remained in the triple digits.
The cooling trend lasted until Thursday, June 23, but high pressure will be expanding again on June 24, leading to another rise in temperatures into the weekend and early next week, according to the National Weather Service.
The extreme heat is being produced by an upper-level high pressure system that peaked on Monday and is expected to gradually weaken next week.
Cooling centers have been opened in the following areas:
- Los Angeles County
- Orange County
- San Bernardino
- Ventura County
- Riverside County
The Department of Public Health had recommended to take the following precautions during a heat wave:
- Keep an eye on media reports for the latest weather forecasts and information from local officials
- Learn the warning signs of heat-related illnesses
- Stay out of direct sunlight and keep hydrated
- Reduce physical activity
- Identify a cool location, such as a small library, theater or designated cooling center
- Use cool compresses, misting and baths to lower body temperatures
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen
- Make sure to check on pets, friends, family and neighbors who may be especially sensitive to excessive heat