Prepare for Historic Heat

Summer just won't leave us be. The National Weather Service is forecasting record heat for Los Angeles beginning Sunday and lasting through Tuesday, which could be the hottest day of the heatwave.

Temperatures in some areas will surpass 100, and nights will not provide a lot of cooling, according to forecasters. "We should easily see temps reaching 100 degrees across a pretty wide area in L.A. and Ventura counties, with the warmest day being Tuesday," according to an NWS outlook.

It's the second heat wave of October so far. UCLA environmental scientist Daniel Swain writes on his website that we're in for historic heat: "Record high temperatures are quite likely to occur over nearly all of Southern California early next week.

"At the moment, it appears quite likely that daily temperature records for late October will be exceeded by a wide margin (i.e. by 3-5+ degrees in some spots)," he writes. "Downtown Los Angeles will probably experience its latest-in-the-calendar-year 100-degree reading on record next week, and could even approach 105. Even the beaches will be quite hot during this heat event — probably hotter, in fact, than during most of the significant inland heatwaves this summer."

Forecasters have issued a "fire weather watch" and an "excessive heat watch" for Monday and Tuesday. The NWS could end up stepping that up a level. "We may issue an excessive heat warning," says NWS weather specialist Stuart Seto.

"With little cooling at night, it puts a strain on people," he says.

The weather service is urging people, especially the elderly and those with health conditions, to limit their time outdoors and "wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible." "Drink plenty of water," according to an NWS statement.

The heat is expected to be generated by a massive high-pressure system that's moving onshore, according to forecasters. An NWS graphic depicts the system covering all of Baja California, California and Oregon. "It goes from Baja up to Northern California," Seto says.

The system will help produce offshore winds that could reach Santa Ana levels, he says. The Santa Ana threshold is 30 to 35 miles per hour, depending on location, Seto says.

During the heat wave, much of the L.A. Basin could reach the triple digits, with low temperatures in the upper 60s, Seto says. The heat starts Sunday with temps in the basin reaching the lower, 90s, he said. Those will bump up eight degrees Monday and then a few more degrees Tuesday, he said.

In Woodland Hills, often the city's hottest location, the weather service's high-temperature forecast follows: 96 Sunday, 104 Monday and 107 Tuesday.

Beaches could reach the 90s during the heat wave, Seto says. And, strangely, surfers could be greeted with a strong, 3- to 6-foot winter-style northwest swell over the weekend. Beachgoers should beware rip currents, he says. A high surf advisory is in effect starting Friday.

"There could be some cooling Wednesday with onshore flow," Seto says.

Let's hope.

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