The brutal heatwave in southern California is expected to last through Thursday, increasing the risk of fires, power outages and heat illness.
Here’s what you need to know:
The hottest temperatures are yet to come, said Sarah Rogowski, the National Weather Service’s emergency specialist.
Rogowski said record or near record temperatures are expected early to mid-week in the 80s and 90s along the coast and 100 to 115 in the Central Valley and inland regions of Southern California.
“We expect temperatures of 10 to 25 degrees above normal for this time of year,” said Rogowski. In addition, there are unusually high night-time temperatures in some areas up to the 1990s.
“We don’t get this relief overnight,” she said.
Relief will come in the north beginning Thursday and then in southern California Thursday afternoon and early Friday, Rogowski said. Even then, temperatures remain above normal.
Southern California communities have been setting daily temperature records for the past four days.
On Saturday, San Diego, Chula Vista, Idyllwild and Lancaster set new daily records.
California leaders called for another flex alert on Sunday, the fifth in a row.
During a flex alert, consumers are encouraged to save energy from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., hours when the grid is at its busiest. Officials warn of potential power outages during the heatwave due to excessive demand.
Californians are being urged to reduce electricity use by setting thermostats to 78 or higher as health permits, avoiding the use of large appliances and turning off all unnecessary lights, officials said.
Southern California Edison experienced an unusual number of heat-related power outages but was able to quickly restore power, spokesman Ben Gallagher said. Because of the heat, crews have been put on standby, equipment stored and regular maintenance postponed, he said.
“We continue to encourage our customers to save energy,” he said.
You can monitor the weather forecast for your area by going to the National Weather Service website and searching by city, state or zip code for the latest weather updates and alerts. Follow local officials and authorities on social media for tips and information on available resources in your area. Keep an extreme heat checklist to make sure you are prepared.
Stay indoors and wear light clothing
Officials with the National Weather Service and health departments are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible, especially between 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. If you exercise outdoors, it’s best to do it early in the morning or later in the evening.
If you don’t have air conditioning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend going to a mall or public library. You can also check your county’s website or call your local health department to learn more about refrigeration centers in your area. Other options include taking a cool shower twice a day or even finding a shady yard or park. (UCLA health officials say electric fans won’t prevent heat-related illnesses once temperatures hit the high 90s and beyond.)
TIED TOGETHER: How to stay cool during the Southern California heatwave
Watch out for heat-related illnesses
According to the CDC, heat-related illnesses can range from heat rash and sunburn to more serious conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and result from the body’s inability to cool itself through sweating. Signs of heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness, include a temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry, or clammy skin; rapid, strong pulse; Headache; Dizziness; nausea; confusion and unconsciousness. If you have these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. The CDC discourages drinking and recommends moving to a cool place and a cold bath or using a cold cloth.
Signs of heat exhaustion are profuse sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; a rapid, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; Fatigue; Dizziness; Headache; and fainting. If you show these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately, find a cool place or cool towels, and drink water. Monitor your symptoms and get help if you vomit, get worse, or last longer than an hour.
Staying hydrated, especially before going outdoors, is crucial to preventing heat-related illnesses. UCLA officials warn against waiting until you’re thirsty. During times of extreme heat, it’s best to drink at least two to four cups of water every hour. (For those who work outdoors, the CDC recommends a cup of water, or 8 ounces, every 15–20 minutes.) Health officials also advise against drinking alcohol during times of extreme heat, as it leads to dehydration and increases your risk of heat Diseases.
It is also important to replenish the salt and mineral losses that the body loses through sweating with low-sugar fruit juices or sports drinks. Dietitians also recommend eating foods high in water — think watermelon, celery, and cucumbers — and drinking the right fluids.
Signs of dehydration in adults include extreme thirst; Fatigue; Dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth and/or lips and infrequent urination. Watch out for dry mouth and tongue in infants or young children; no tears when crying; no wet diaper for more than three hours; sunken eyes and cheeks; a sunken tender spot on the head and irritability or listlessness.
(If your doctor puts you on a particular diet or regulates how much water you drink, ask what steps you should take to stay hydrated during heat waves.)
TIED TOGETHER: How to keep your pets cool in this scorching heat
Check the most vulnerable
In addition to taking care of your safety and health, you should also frequently consult with those who are at high risk, including the elderly, children, pregnant women, those without shelter, those who work outdoors, and those without air conditioning. Heat also affects your pets so keep them inside or if they are outside make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area. Never leave a child or pet in the back seat of a car, as temperatures inside a vehicle can skyrocket, even if the windows are cracked.
To help the homeless, the Los Angeles County Department of Health is proposing donating water, electrolyte packs, light and loose-fitting clothing, tents, towels, and other supplies to local organizations.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-04/brutal-california-heat-wave-extended-to-thursday-with-hottest-conditions-still-ahead California heat wave extended into Thursday