Southern California is about to get a whole lot hotter, with the first significant heat wave of the year beginning on Wednesday.
The new round of hotter weather is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday, and will bring with it gusty winds for some parts of the region. But thanks to recent rains, the elevated fire danger that often comes with warm and windy weather is not expected in the coming days.
“Temperatures will increase enough to be quite a bit above normal,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office.
Forecasters believe that temperatures may reach ten to 15 degrees warmer than usual for this time of year. At times that will be combined in some parts of the region, including coastal areas and the San Fernando Valley, with gusty, warm and dry winds.
The warmest weather will hit the Inland Empire, where some communities are expected to see temperatures in the mid-90s by Friday.
In Orange County, temperatures are expected to be in the 70s near the coast and the 80s inland, though parts of the county may reach the low-90s by Friday, forecasters said.
In Los Angeles County, temperatures in beach communities is expected to rise to the upper 70s to lower 80s, while the San Fernando Valley is expected to reach the upper 80s and lower 90s.
The hot spell is being driven by a high-pressure system moving into the region, combining a dome of warm air and the strong, gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service.
Elevated fire warnings are not currently expected.
“At this time, it’s still very early in the season,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Ben Gonzalez said. “We had quite a bit of precipitation and everything is still pretty green.”
Officials said those hoping take part in outdoor activities in the coming days should keep the warmer temperatures in mind. Residents should also avoid leaving children or animals in parked cars and if they are in a windy area should consider removing loose objects from their yard.
“It will be the first time this year that it gets to be this warm,” said Philip Gonsalves, a meteoroligist with the National Weather Service’s San Diego office. “So people just need to exercise good judgment. Stay hydrated and don’t do a lot of strenuous outdoor activities during the peak of the day.”
While temperatures are expected to drop over the weekend, it will remain warm next week, forecasters said. A potential low-pressure system that may arrive at the end of next week could bring the return of lower temperatures, they added.