Moist, cooler weather expected to give way to typical SoCal heat by end of the week

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People cool off under a mister in downtown Palm Springs as the temperature soared to 110 degrees in July 2021. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

People cool off under a mister in downtown Palm Springs as the temperature soared to 110 degrees in July 2021. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Last weekend’s cool temperatures are expected to give way to Southern California’s typical summer heat by the end of this week as higher pressure moves in, pushing up temperatures, forecasters said Monday.

The deep marine layer that’s been keeping inland temperature below normal is expected to linger through Tuesday. But temperatures should return to normal by Wednesday, then push to 3 to 6 degrees above average later this week, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service

But the low-laying clouds and fogs emerging at night and lingering through the morning could last into the weekend, and likely through at least Wednesday.

The higher temperatures are expected to come as models show a low-pressure trough that’s been persistent along the West Coast lifting slightly Wednesday to make room for some higher pressure.  

Onshore winds and the marine layer are expected to keep Southern California moist, though the layer of clouds that’s been blanketing much of the region should weaken slightly Tuesday. By Wednesday, inland areas will likely warm further, NWS said.

“Confidence isn’t particularly high with this scenario given that the [low-pressure] trough is still very much in place,” the forecast states, but models consistently show 5 to 10 degrees of warming inland for Wednesday.

In warmer valley areas, high temperatures are expected to reach the mid to high 90s Wednesday. Thermometers are expected to push higher Thursday and the low-pressure system continues to dissipate.

Models indicate there’s at least a 90% chance of heat reaching 100 degrees or higher in the Woodland Hills area, but temperatures should be cooler on the coast. The chance for downtown L.A. to reach 90 degrees Thursday is only around 10%, NWS said.

Parts of Riverside County around the San Gorgonio Pass, including the cities of Banning and Desert Hot Springs, will be under an excessive heat watch Wednesday morning through Friday evening. Conditions are expected to be dangerously hot in the area, with high temperatures reaching 105 to 114 degrees.

The weather is expected to change very little Friday and through the weekend. However, temperatures aren’t expected to get high enough to warrant any heat advisories, according to the weather service.

Warmer weather is returning to Southern California as six wildfires rage in the northern part of the state, including the Dixie Fire that has consumed more than 1,130 square miles since breaking out July 13 in Plumas County, making it the second-largest wildfire in the state’s history.

More than 13,500 firefighters were working Monday to contain a dozen large California wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

The fires further north prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to issue an advisory through Tuesday, warning winds are expected to carry wildfire smoke into parts of Southern California included the Santa Clarita and Coachella valleys and San Gabriel Mountains.

Southern California is also facing a significant wildfire season, but the peak has yet to come, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said during a wildfire preparation briefing at the Van Nuys Airport. He noted that 2018’s devastating Woolsey Fire occurred in November, and in 2017 the Thomas, Creek and Skirball fires all broke out in December.

Inland parts of Southern California could face elevated fire danger as the weather heats up later this week, according to NWS.

This year, the mix of dried-out spring vegetation and deepening drought will create the conditions for large, fast-moving fires once Santa Ana winds return amid high temperatures.

“This year we’re seeing more of the ingredients that sustain wildfires: high temperatures, dry weather, strong winds,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. And as always, we can see ourselves facing not just more intense flames, but as we’re learning year by year, a fire season that seems to almost never end.”

Officials urged property owners to plan ahead by gathering important documents, preparing an evacuation plan and kit for each family member, and clearing any flammable vegetation.

“Taking time to clear brush around your home should be a year-round enterprise now that fires are year-round as well,” Garcetti said.

However, Terrazas said of the 131,000 brush parcels in L.A., the city gets nearly 100% compliance every year.

“That’s a solid metric that tells me that the people of our city take the brush threat seriously,” he said.

The mayor also asked Angelenos to call 911 immediately if they spot any smoke or fire.

For more information on wildfire preparation and how to create an action plan, visit www.lafd.org/ready-set-go. To sign up for the city of L.A.’s emergency alerts, including for evacuation orders, text “ready” to 888777.

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