After a historically rainy winter and cloudy spring, California’s summer was in full swing Thursday, as a heatwave lashing much of the southwestern United States sent temperatures soaring and wildfire risks increased.
Scorching conditions will develop Friday and through the weekend in central and southern California, the National Weather Service warned, as many residents should prepare for the hottest temperatures of the year.
Meteorologists say mid-day highs are expected to exceed 38 degrees Celsius, and desert areas may approach 50 degrees. A little relief is expected at night, when temperatures may approach 26.6 degrees. The Overheat Watch was in effect through Sunday in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
Now is not the time to go for long walks or to be outside for long periods of time.the Los Angeles Weather Service office said on Twitter.
If you must work outside, shift your schedule to early mornings, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated!
Employers have been reminded to adhere to regulations that require outdoor workers to have water, shade and regular breaks to cool off. The state will conduct spot checks at work sites to make sure rules are being followed, Jeff Kelp of the Occupational Safety and Health Department warned.
A 9-year-old girl tries to cool off in a watery area in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Photo: Associated Press/Peter Pereira
More than 111 million people in the United States have been under severe heat warnings, watches and warnings, the National Weather Service said Wednesday, with the majority in the Southwest.
Meteorologists say this prolonged heat wave is extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly, the homeless, and other vulnerable populations. The heat could continue into next week as the high pressure dome moves west from Texas. In Arizona, temperatures have reached 43.3 degrees for more than ten consecutive days.
Horse racing at the California State Fair near D.C. has been canceled due to animal safety concerns.
Phoenix, Arizona is currently the hottest city in the United States, with temperatures hovering around 45 degrees Celsius.
Photo: AP/Matt York
Fires broke out across the state
Meanwhile, California’s wildfire season is heating up amid heat and drought, with a series of fires raging across the state this week, said Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot.
As we move into summer and the vegetation that grew during the wet spring dries up, we see an increase in wildfire activity.Mr. Crowfoot explained Wednesday during a press briefing.
He added that global climate change
amplify heat waves. California has developed a $400 million Extreme Heat Action Plan to protect workers, support vulnerable communities, and help communities open cooling centers.
Authorities said the state’s power grid, which has stretched to the point of causing widespread blackouts in recent years, has been beefed up and should be able to withstand the heatwave.
the Independent system operator in California Cal ISO, which operates the electricity grid, said its battery storage capacity reached 5,600 megawatts on July 1, enough to power more than 3.8 million homes for four hours before recharging.
Batteries added to the grid are charged during the day, when solar energy is plentiful, and mainly distributed in the evening, when demand is still high, the sun goes down and solar energy goes downCal ISO said in a statement.
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