The heat wave has arrived

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning extending from 11 a.m. Wednesday until 8 p.m. Monday for most of Southern California, including Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County, San Bernardino County, the Santa Clarita Valley and many other communities as a high-pressure system lingers over the region.

Temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees in Los Angeles and could reach 116 degrees in some inland areas, including Palm Springs, on Sunday and Monday.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” NWS said in a statement. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.”

Other heat wave tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Stay in an air-conditioned room
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Check up on relatives and neighbors
  • Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances

Tap here for interactive Los Angeles-area Weather Coverage

In addition to the triple-digit temperatures expected this week, Southern California residents face another environmental danger: air pollution.

The heat wave will increase “the likelihood of poor air quality in many areas,” the South Coast Air Quality Management District said in a news release.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called on residents to take advantage of the cooling centers which will open to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“Angelenos need a place to go for relief from extreme heat – especially those who are most vulnerable to the effects of high temperatures,” Garcetti said Tuesday. “We’re adding hours at nine centers this week so that anyone who needs help can stay cool, healthy, and safe.”

Find a cooling center

The extreme heat has forced many Southland schools to proactively adjust sports practices, cancel outdoor recess, and take other measures to protect students.

Care should also be taken for pets. Be sure not to leave them in locked cars, and avoid walking dogs during peak heat hours.

Pets can also be given ice water – not water left outside to warm up in high temperatures — and be brought indoors into the air conditioning, when possible.

For more tips, visit the Red Cross.