Southern California is getting hotter with the arrival of the first major heat wave of the year.
The surge in temperature began Wednesday and is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday, bringing gusty winds to some parts of the region as well.
Thankfully, due to recent rains, the elevated fire danger that often comes with warm and windy weather is not a threat this time around. “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.”
Forecasters say temperatures may reach 10 to 15 degrees warmer than usual for this time of year, including coastal areas and the San Fernando Valley.
The hottest hot spot will be in the Inland Empire, where it’s 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 80s more inland, though parts of the county may reach the low-90s.
Los Angeles County’s beach communities will see 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 strong, gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials said those participating in outdoor activities should keep the warmer temperatures in mind. Don’t leave children and animals in cars and, if you live in a windy area, consider removing loose objects from the yard.
“It will be the first time this year that it gets to be this warm,” said Philip Gonsalves, a meteorologist 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 by the end of the weekend, it will remain warmer than usual 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.