• Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

Worst Heat Wave in Years Sets Three Temperature Records in LA County

ByKelley Wheeler

Aug 17, 2020

Temperatures reached triple digits in Woodland Hills, the Antelope Valley and Acton while daily records were set at three locations in Los Angeles County Sunday in the worst heat wave in years.

Temperatures are set to rise again to dangerous levels beginning Tuesday. Excessive heat warnings remained in effect through 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat- related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” warned a National Weather Service statement.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” it urged. “When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.”

Managers of California’s power grid issued a statewide Flex Alert on Sunday, calling for voluntary electricity conservation through Wednesday and warning of rolling blackouts amid record-breaking heat.

The Flex Alerts will be in effect from 3-10 p.m. each day.

The California Independent System Operator urged consumers to help by shifting energy use to morning and nighttime hours and conserving as much energy as possible during the late afternoon and evening hours.

CAL-ISO initiated some rolling blackouts Friday and Saturday for the first time since 2001, with most lasting no more than 20 minutes.

The high in downtown Los Angeles was 95 degrees Sunday — an improvement from Saturday’s high of 99 — but that number was forecast to jump to 96 on Monday and 97 on Tuesday.

Other highs Sunday included 111 in Lancaster and Palmdale, both records for Aug. 16; 106 in Acton, 100 in Woodland Hills, 98 in Northridge, Pasadena, Saugus and Van Nuys, 97 in Chatsworth and Redondo Beach, 95 in Burbank, 94 in Culver City and at Mount Wilson, 92 at UCLA, and 91 in Hawthorne and at the Santa Monica Airport.

Sunday’s other record in Los Angeles County was at Los Angeles International Airport, where the high of 93 broke the previous record of 85, set in 2000.

The previous record for Lancaster on Aug. 16 was 108, set in 2015. The previous record for Palmdale on Aug. 16 was 107, set in 1994.

Cooling centers opened in Los Angeles and other spots in Los Angeles County to give the public a place to escape the heat.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, capacity is limited and people should call ahead to check space availability, according to the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Information on the county’s cooling centers as well as heat-related illnesses and prevention is at publichealth.lacounty.gov.

The heat was making life tough for firefighters battling two wildfires in Los Angeles County. The Lake Fire in the Lake Hughes area had burned 18,361 acres and was 12% contained Sunday evening, while the Ranch 2 Fire in Azusa had burned 2,256 acres and was 7% contained.

The weather service warned of elevated critical fire weather through Monday, in part because of very dry vegetation providing fuel for wildfires. Another factor is the fact that surface winds coming from the north will be weak, keeping the ground warm. But no red flag warnings have been issued.

Unhealthy air quality was forecast for Monday by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in the East San Fernando Valley; Pomona/Walnut Valley; Santa Clarita Valley; San Gabriel Mountains; and East San Gabriel Valley.

Tuesday was expected to be the worst day of the entire wave, with highs expected to reach 110 in Woodland Hills, 109 in Lancaster and Palmdale, 108 in Saugus, 102 in Pasadena and 100 in San Gabriel. More dangerously high temperatures are forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, before the heat wave is finally expected to ease up on Friday.

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Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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