SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The dog days of summer kept hounding the San Diego area Monday as a spate of extreme heat intensified across the sun-baked region.
The wilting warmth pushed afternoon temperatures into the 80s and 90s along the coast, the 90s to 105 in inland areas, the low to mid-90s in the East County highlands and up to 113 in the local deserts, according to the National Weather Service.
The swelter led to a heat record in Alpine, where the high of 102 degrees surpassed the prior Aug. 15 milestone of 101, set last year. El Cajon's maximum mark of 103 matched its previous record for the date, also logged in 2015.
The extra-hot spell, which kicked in over the weekend, is expected to continue through Wednesday, according to meteorologists.
The sultry conditions, coupled with gusty winds and low humidity levels, prompted the NWS to issue a "red flag'' alert, effective through late Wednesday evening, warning of critical wildfire risks in San Diego County.
Authorities advised the public to guard against potentially serious heat-related ailments by staying hydrated; avoiding unnecessary outdoor labor; checking on neighbors and relatives, especially the elderly; and making sure to never leave children, the aged or pets in parked cars, which can quickly become death traps when temperatures are high.