Heat wave grips Southern California

09:09, July 16, 2010      

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The National Weather Service ( NWS) on Thursday issued an extreme heat wave warning for Southern California, which was going to swelter under triple-digit temperatures.

The heat wave from Thursday to Friday may combine with monsoonal humidity to reach dangerous heat thresholds, the NWS said.

"Everywhere you go except the immediate beaches, it's going to be hot and more humid out there," Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Rorke said. "Avoid direct sun and drink plenty of water."

High pressure will continue to strengthen as it builds into southwestern California, according to an NWS advisory. Temperatures are expected to climb to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit across interior sections of the forecast area, including lower mountain elevations and portions of Los Angeles county valleys, according to the NWS.

"The combination of heat and added humidity will add to the discomfort level," the NWS advisory stated.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) said the heat wave increased the threat of wildfires.

"With the increase of heat there's always an increase in fire danger," said LACFD Inspector Don Kunitomi.

He and other experts noted that additional factors, including wind, humidity and fuel moisture, can cause dry brush to ignite and spread.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a warning for residents to take precautions as the heat wave settles in.

"While people don't need to be told it's hot outside, they do need to be reminded to take care of themselves, children, the elderly and pets when the weather gets hotter," Dr. Jonathan Fielding of the department said. "When temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke."

"Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed vehicles, even with the windows 'cracked,'" Fielding said, "because temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels."

Fielding also urged residents to offer help to neighbors with limited access to air conditioning and transportation and check on them frequently.

Source: Xinhua


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