Heat wave continues; temperatures may drop by middle of next week

RIVERSIDE – Scorching heat is expected again today in Riverside County as the summer season officially gets underway.

On Tuesday, the heat wave baking Southern California pushed the mercury to 122 degrees in Thermal, breaking a year-old record, according to the National Weather Service. Palm Springs also reached 122 degrees, tying the city’s record high for the date.

An excessive heat warning for the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass zone, which includes Banning and Desert Hot Springs, will remain in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday. A less severe heat advisory for the remainder of Riverside County will expire at 9 p.m. today.

Predicted high temperatures today are 101 to 108 degrees in the valleys around Riverside, 95 to 105 degrees in the mountains and 115 to 120 degrees in the San Gorgonio Pass zone and 117 to 122 degrees in the remainder of the Coachella Valley.

Although somewhat cooler conditions are expected Thursday and Friday, there’s no immediate relief is in sight.

“Strong high pressure aloft over the southwest states will continue dangerously hot days across the deserts. Excessive heat will continue into the weekend,” according to the weather service.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to fall slightly to 96 to 104 degrees in the valleys, 92 to 102 degrees in the mountains and 111 to 116 degrees along the San Gorgonio Pass and 112 to 117 degrees in the Coachella Valley, according to the weather service.

Highs of 112 to 118 degrees in the deserts will follow through Saturday, and they’ll hover around 115 degrees Sunday.

The hot weather will increase the risk of heat-related illness and anyone working or spending time outdoors would be more susceptible, as will the elderly, children and those unaccustomed to the heat. Forecasters advised residents to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, drink plenty of water, wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Authorities also warned against leaving children, seniors or pets in parked cars, which can heat up to lethal levels in just minutes, even with a window partially open.

Delays or flight cancellations will also be possible again today, according to the weather service. On Tuesday, several flights to and from Phoenix were canceled due to heat concerns.

Temperatures could lower to closer to seasonal averages around the middle of next week, according to the NWS.

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