How to deal with Southern California’s sweltering heat could further weigh on residents’ minds on Monday as temperatures are expected to rise further, deteriorating air quality and increasing the risk of Labor Day holiday power outages and potentially deadly fires.
Highs of 105 are forecast for large areas of the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys and lower-elevation communities, said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office. to 110 degrees. Thunderstorms, isolated showers and flash floods are also expected in mountainous and desert areas by Tuesday night.
The weather service is forecasting a high temperature advisory and overheating warning into Tuesday, and is warning people to watch out for heat stroke.
High temperatures on Sunday broke temperature records across the Southland. In Los Angeles County, Burbank matched the old record of 110 degrees set in 1984. In Long Beach, the temperature hit 109 degrees, beating the previous record of 107 degrees since 1988.
The Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles was hot on Sunday afternoon, with shorts, tank tops and sandals flooding in.
Undeterred by the 103-degree heat, Cesar Aguilar’s family and friends celebrated his 47th birthday by laughing, drinking beer and eating seafood at a lively market.
“It’s hot here and it’s hot there, so it doesn’t matter where you go,” Aguilar said, referring to the 99-degree heat at his Tustin home. “So, what else can you do other than drink a cold drink?”
The California Independent System Operator, which operates the state’s grid, said the ongoing heatwave has pushed power demand to the brink of overload. That demand stood at 42,480 megawatts as of Sunday afternoon, and is likely to climb to 48,817 megawatts on Monday before surpassing 50,000 megawatts on Tuesday, just shy of the all-time record set in 2006.
Partial outages at three gas-fired power plants, including Redondo Beach and El Segundo, hampered Sunday’s power generation, said ISO senior vice president and chief operating officer Mark Rothleder.
System operators are maintaining statewide flexible alerts and emergency energy alerts that pool all available resources to ease the statewide power crunch still in effect. The watch could be elevated to higher status on Monday, which could mean the introduction of backup generators and activation of discounts for customers who use less electricity. Flex Alerts is calling on consumers to reduce energy use from 4pm to 9pm to help relieve grid stress and avoid potential rolling blackouts.
“Tomorrow is the first day when the likelihood of entering an emergency has significantly increased, with the possibility of power service interruptions being more likely than ever,” Elliot Mainzer, president of the California Grid, said in a Sunday afternoon news release. High.” Conference. “We’re taking a number of steps in partnership with state agencies, utilities … to make sure we’re as prepared as possible.”
No one had to tell Ella and Kaleb Berhe that it was time to avoid the worst heatwaves. On Sunday, the couple drove from their East Hollywood home to Redondo Beach to meet friends by the water.
Sitting on unshaded beach chairs on the beach, they said it was difficult to stay cool at home while trying to comply with Flex Alert.
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“We should have turned it up to 78 at 4 p.m., but it was hard to keep up because we had a dog. We turned it up to 77 at 4 p.m.,” said Ella Berhe, 37. “There’s really no good way to beat the heat. We have hoses, but we don’t want to use water. We turn on the fans.”
Ella Berhe, who works at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, said she’s used to the significantly cooler temperatures on the West Side. But when she got off the night shift at 7am on Sunday morning, it was 88 degrees outside.
“It’s unprecedented in Santa Monica. It doesn’t feel right,” she said. “It’s not right. Climate change is happening.”
Predictions of their San Pedro home in the 1990s also brought Hector Esparza, his pregnant wife and two children to Redondo Beach, where they found some relief.
“The house was super hot — probably in the mid-’90s — so we didn’t spend money on air conditioning or anything to keep us cool, we just went to the beach,” he said. “The first thing we do is jump in the water and get fresh.”
Esparza, 48, said he is working to reduce energy consumption in response to calls from Californians to reduce energy use during the heatwave.
“We’re trying to work with everything because if everyone has air conditioning, things can happen,” he said. “So I told my wife to let’s go to the beach and save some money and energy.”
In Ventura County, the temperature in Camarillo climbed to 106 degrees, breaking the old record of 93 degrees set in 1961. In Oxnard, the temperature reached 101 degrees, also breaking the record of 96 degrees since 1961.
“In general, it looks like a peak today and tomorrow, then slightly cooler Tuesday and Wednesday, but still overheating,” meteorologist Szilard said.
Continued hot, dry conditions across the state are a particular concern for firefighters.
Mills and wildfires in Siskiyou County near the California-Oregon border have burned more than 10,000 acres, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Mill Fire burned 4,254 acres and was 40 percent contained, but killed two people in Weed. Their bodies were found on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the wildfires have burned 8,896 acres and are 10 percent contained.
In Los Angeles County, the Route Fire, which began Wednesday in the Castaic area, has burned 5,208 acres and was 96 percent contained as of Sunday night, according to Cal Fire.
New wildfires are increasingly dangerous, prompting the state Office of Emergency Services to launch what agency spokesman Brian Ferguson called the largest “pre-deployment campaign” in state history, with fire trucks ready for 20 counties , water tenders and other fire protection resources.
Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie said the goal is to get the fire out before it reaches 10 acres.
“We want to quickly identify and put out the fire,” he said. “We know these thermal domes have been a problem in the past, and if a fire does occur, we want to be in place.”
Inland and valley areas are particularly vulnerable to heat and potential fires. Temperatures in the Woodland Mountains of the San Fernando Valley are expected to peak at 113 degrees on Sunday before dropping to 111 degrees on Monday, Szilard said. Lancaster has a high of 110 on Sunday, with forecasters expecting a high of 112 or 113 on Monday, 110 to 112 on Tuesday and 109 on Wednesday.
The extreme temperature in Los Angeles County was below the record 120 degrees set in Woodland Hills two years ago, he said.
Still, state officials and meteorologists have warned of the health risks posed by the heat to older adults and those with underlying health conditions. They are advising those individuals to stay indoors or go to a designated cooling center and sign up for the county emergency alert for updates on heat and fire events.
“Be with neighbors, friends and people at high risk of heat stroke,” Ferguson said. “Check them out, support them.”