SoCal heat wave: Record highs set in parts of LA County with more hot temps ahead

Jaysha Patel Image
Monday, July 8, 2024
Record highs set in parts of LA County with more hot temps ahead
Temperatures reached record highs this weekend. In Death Valley, the temp reached 128 degrees. Palmdale saw a high of 114 while Lancaster reached 115.

Record highs were set in various spots across Los Angeles County, and heat warnings and advisories were extended Monday, accompanied by a high risk for dangerous heat illness and fast-growing fires.

Heat records broken

Palmdale and Lancaster both set record highs for Sunday's date, according to the National Weather Service. Palmdale recorded a high of 114 degrees, breaking the record of 110 set in 1989, while Lancaster's 115 degrees broke the record of 110 set in 1989 and 2017.

Lancaster's 115 degree temperature also set the record high for July, breaking the old mark of 114 set on July 18, 1960, and July 19, 1960.

It also tied a record high of 115 degrees set on June 30, 2013. The record for most consecutive days above 110 since 1945 was set in Lancaster.

It was 101 in Sandberg on Sunday, breaking the record for the day of 100 set in 2018.

The extreme heat wave "will continue across the region, especially the interior, through much of (this) week," according to the NWS. "High temperatures will reach 105 to 115 across interior valleys, mountains and deserts."

An excessive heat warning was extended until at least 9 p.m. Thursday for the 5 and 14 freeway corridors, the western San Gabriel Mountains, San Gabriel foothills, the Antelope Valley and the Angeles Crest Highway.

Another excessive heat warning will be in effect through Wednesday in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Calabasas, San Fernando Valley and eastern San Gabriel Mountains, where temperatures well over 100 degrees are expected.

The NWS issued a red flag warning about potential critical fire danger conditions that will be in effect until at least 6 a.m. Monday for the western Antelope Valley foothills and the 5 Freeway corridor in northern L.A. County.

"This is a dangerous situation with all the ingredients for a high risk of heat illness and fast-growing fires," forecasters said. "Please avoid hiking in the mountains and the hills through this weekend, make plans on how you will stay cool in the afternoon and evening hours, and stay away from anything that could spark a fire."

Forecasters said humidity levels in some areas could drop as low as 6% to 12%, combining with the heat and potential winds gusting from 25 to 40 mph, dramatically raising the risk of rapid wildfire spread if flames erupt.

Death Valley heat

Heat records were also broken in Death Valley National Park - one of the hottest places on Earth - over the weekend. A high temperature of 128 F (53.3 C) was recorded Saturday and Sunday at the park.

A motorcyclist died from heat exposure Saturday while visiting the park.

A motorcyclist died from heat exposure Saturday while visiting Death Valley National Park as the temperature there reached 128 degrees this weekend.

The motorcyclist was a part of a group of six riding through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather, the park said in a statement.

The person who died was not identified. One motorcyclist was transported to a Las Vegas hospital for "severe heat illness," the statement said. Due to the high temperatures, emergency medical helicopters were unable to respond, as the aircraft cannot generally fly safely over 120 F (48.8 C), officials said.

Las Vegas also shattered a heat record over the Fourth of July weekend. The Nevada city reached 115 degrees on Saturday, tying with records in 2007 and 1989.

On Sunday, temperatures in Las Vegas hit 120 degrees for the first time in recorded history, according to preliminary data from the weather service. In more than 32,000 days of records, the temperature had never climbed above 117 degrees prior to Sunday.

Cooling centers and heat safety tips

Authorities reminded the public to never leave pets or children inside vehicles on days that are even a little warmer than normal, as locked cars can turn into death traps in mere minutes.

The city and county of Los Angeles both operate cooling centers for people who need a place to escape the heat. To find a location, visit ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 211.

The city of Los Angeles is operating four "augmented" cooling centers that will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through at least Monday. The centers are located at:

- Fred Roberts Recreation Center, 4700 Honduras St., Los Angeles;

- Mid Valley Senior Center, 8825 Kester Ave., Panorama City;

- Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd.; and

- Jim Gilliam Recreation Center, 4000 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.

City officials also noted that climate stations are available for the homeless on Skid Row, offering cold beverages, shade and seating. The stations are on Towne Street between Fifth and Sixth streets; and at San Pedro Street between Sixth and Seventh streets. Another station will be open by July 16 at Fifth and Maple streets.

The homeless can also visit the ReFresh Spot, 544 Towne Ave. The facility is open 24 hours a day, providing drinking water, restrooms, showers and laundry facilities.

City News Service contributed to this report.