SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Temperatures will soar into the triple digits in parts of the San Diego area Friday at the outset of an extreme late-summer heat wave expected to roast the region through the Labor Day weekend.
The predicted hot spell and accompanying low humidity and gusty winds out of the east prompted the National Weather Service to issue a "red flag" wildfire warning for the local inland valleys and mountains, effective from 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday. The alert signifies a likelihood of critical combustion hazards that can lead to "extreme fire behavior."
Air moisture levels will drop to the 15-20% range on Saturday and Sunday with poor overnight recovery, according to meteorologists. Winds out of the east are expected to reach sustained speeds between 15-25 mph, with gusts potentially reaching 30-40 mph in the southern reaches of the county.
Excessive heat warnings, meanwhile, will be in effect in the western valleys, the mountains and the deserts from Friday morning through 8 p.m. Monday; and in coastal areas from 10 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Monday.
High temperatures Friday afternoon are forecast to reach the low 80s near the coast and the mid-90s in the western valleys, and as high as 104 near the foothills, 102 in the mountains and 117 in the deserts.
The mercury in the deserts is expected to reach 119 on Sunday and 122 on Monday, forecasters said. Highs in the western valleys could soar to 116 on Saturday and 114 on Sunday, while high temperatures near the foothills will remain in the triple digits through Monday.
To beat the heat, people should drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day and check on potentially at-risk relatives and neighbors, the NWS advised. Also, children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to "reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes," according to the federal agency.