A heat wave is invading Southern California, and you have the Midwest to blame. In fact, the high-pressure system over places like Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska is so massive that it's causing much of the United States to melt in agony.
"It's a high-pressure system that's pretty much dominating the United States," says National Weather Service meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie, who's based in Oxnard.
But it's not exactly chilly around here.
Friday and Saturday are expected to be the warmest days of this heat wave. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s downtown and possibly 110 in the valleys, Hoxsie says. The beaches likely will see temps in the low 80s. Lows across the region could reach the upper 60s.
Slight cooling will reach us Sunday and Monday, but temperatures will still be above normal, forecasters say. Normal for downtown this time of year is the upper 80s, according to Hoxsie.
Another heat wave could strike by midweek, she says.
Despite the warmth — L.A. is under an excessive heat watch — records are not expected to be broken at the hottest place on Earth, SoCal's Death Valley, forecasters say.
The July 22 record in Death Valley is 125 degrees, set in 2003. The forecast is for a high of 122, says meteorologist John Adair of the weather service's Las Vegas office.
The record for July 23 is 127, set in 1916; the high is expected to be 123.
"Death Valley is going to hover up there, but the record's out of reach," Adair says.
Meanwhile, in much cooler Los Angeles, the L.A. Department of Water and Power is asking folks to be conscious of their electricity use. If we all blast the air at the same time, we're in trouble.
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The DWP says you can do basic stuff and help us avoid the pain of living in the dark: Keep your air conditioning at 78 or above, don't use unnecessary appliances and save the heavy lifting like clothes washing for after dark.