Heat Wave

SoCal Heat Wave: What's Ahead After Temperatures Reached Peak Sizzle

Temperatures shattered record highs Tuesday and extreme heat is in the forecast for the rest of the week.

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What to Know

  • Tuesday was the warmest day of a heat wave that has gripped SoCal since late last week.
  • Temperatures will still be warm through the rest of the week, reaching 90s and 100s.
  • Storms are possible for desert and mountain regions.

Temperatures topped out Wednesday on Day 5 of Southern California’s summer heat wave, but the region will continue to see extremely warm weather Wednesday when more storms are possible in inland areas. 

Thunderstorms hammered parts of Riverside County Tuesday during a day of triple-digit temperatures, monsoonal conditions and power outages. 

Temperatures will decline slightly Wednesday, remaining in the 90s and 100s in several communities. An excessive heat warning, which has been extended since it was first issued last week, will be in force until 9 p.m. Thursday in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, as well as the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. 

"We are over the hump of the hot temperatures, but we'll have to continue over the next few days to take those heat precautions," NBC4 forecaster Belen De Leon said.

Inland areas will remain in the triple digits. There's a chance of thunderstorms and lightning for inland communities Wednesday afternoon.

A less serious heat advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday in the Los Angeles coastal zone -- beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills.

The worst day of the lingering heat wave -- the result of high pressure over Nevada -- was Tuesday, when highs reached 113 in Northridge, 112 in Van Nuys, 110 in Chatsworth, 109 at Acton and Pasadena, 108 in Saugus, 107 in Lancaster and 105 in Palmdale.

Daily records were set in Woodland Hills, where the 112-degree high broke the previous record of 109 for Aug. 18 set in 1992; at Hollywood Burbank Airport, where the 109-degree high broke the previous record of 100 set in 1986; at Long Beach Airport, where the 100-degree high was one degree higher than the previous record set in 1986; and UCLA, where the 97-degree broke the previous record of 90 set in 1986.

In Orange County, records were set for an August 18 in Anaheim at 105 degrees, breaking the old record of 101 in 1992, and Santa Ana at 106 degrees, breaking the old record of 95 in 2010.

The remnants of a hurricane off the coast of Baja California will likely bring monsoonal moisture and possibly rain to SoCal by the weekend.

This is the time to turn up the thermostat a few degrees and not run power-hungry appliances. Patrick Healy reported on NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.

Power Outages

Californians remain under a statewide Flex Alert, a call by the state’s power grid operator to voluntarily reduce power use during the hours 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Rolling blackouts were again averted Tuesday thanks to conservation by
consumers, imported energy and power from wind plants, the California
Independent System Operator announced.

A Stage 2 Emergency was declared around 2 p.m. by the grid operator
which was preparing to order load shed to take the strain off the grid.
However, demand came in lower than forecast and the emergency was canceled at 7:37 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed an emergency proclamation designed to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions, according to his office.

About 3,800 SoCal Edison customers were without power early Wednesday. At 2 a.m., about 6,500 outages were reported.

About 4,800 customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, which generates its own power, were without power early Wednesday morning due to a strain on the utility's distribution system caused by high temperatures. At the height of the outage Tuesday evening, at least 12,000 customers were without power, according to DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo.

“Extreme heat and electricity demand has caused outages in parts of Los Angeles, currently affecting some LADWP customers,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter Tuesday night. ``Crews are working hard to restore power as quickly as possible.''

LADWP said it could take between four and 12 hours for power to be restored.

LADWP provided assistance to the state grid in the form of surplus energy to keep blackouts from occurring throughout the state. The utility provided 500 megawatts of power on Monday and between 400 and 700 megawatts to the state power grid on Tuesday.  The DWP provides power to 1.5 million customers across Los Angeles.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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