Heat wave breaks records across LA; mercury soars to 117 degrees in Van Nuys

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An early summer heat wave could break Los Angeles-area records this weekend, according to a preliminary forecast from the National Weather Service.

Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with Weather Service, says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented,” with temperatures expected to reach triple digits in much of Los Angeles County.

In the San Fernando Valley, temperatures Friday could climb above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Wofford calls a projected temperature of 100 in Downtown LA a “conservative estimate.” For context, the highest July 6 temperature ever recorded Downtown was 94 degrees.

Even in coastal areas, forecasters expect temperatures to reach the 90s.

Low humidities are expected, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

Keep that in mind when making plans for the holiday weekend (particularly those that involve fireworks or sparklers).

Temperatures won’t be the only things soaring Friday. A south swell is expected to bring waves up to 10 feet to Southern California shores. High heat and big waves will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

Wofford says temperatures should begin to drop close the beach on Saturday. Further inland, relief likely won’t come until Sunday. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

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