Southland Heatwave to Continue Through Saturday; High Surf Advisory In Effect Until Tonight

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Summer has arrived: Hot and dry conditions expected to last through Saturday descended on the Southland Wednesday, forecasters stated.

Weak high pressure above northern California slid into the Golden state's southern region on Wednesday, where the pressure is expected to build today through Saturday, weakening the marine layer, according to a National Weather Service (NWS) report.

The aforementioned hot and dry conditions will develop, with highs in the 90s inward from the coast, and some interior valleys reaching 100-degree temperatures. While temperatures will be several degrees higher than normal, NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson noted there is nothing unusual about southland heat spikes at this time of year.

Humidity levels are expected to drop by Friday to the 15 to 25 percent range in coastal valleys and to between six and 12 percent in interior valleys and mountain areas, according to the report. Light winds will graze the coast and close-by valleys, while gusty winds heading west-to-north will increase fire danger and “isolated critical conditions” in the mountains and interior valleys, according to the release.

A dry low pressure system should lead to improved conditions by early next week; however, residents are encouraged to hydrate during the “first extended heat of the season,” stated the report, and schedule outdoor work during cool parts of the day and to never leave children, the elderly or pets unattended in vehicles. State safety regulators today encouraged employers to ensure their outdoor workers stay cool.

“Employers need to be aware of the rules that protect workers from heat illness,” stated Juliann Sum, chief of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Water, rest, shade and increased vigilance are absolutely essential in high heat conditions.”

A high surf advisory will be in effect along the coast until 10:00PM tonight, with forecasters expecting surf of four to seven feet and sets of up to nine feet in places, meanwhile a less serious beach hazards statement will be in effect in Orange County.

“There is an increased risk of ocean drowning,” the NWS report stated. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off of beaches and rock jetties. The combination of high surf and high tides could generate minor beach erosion and minor flooding of harbor walkways by Thursday evening, possibly persisting into Friday evening.”

The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies throughout LA County today and highs of 79 in Long Beach.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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