RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The first heat wave of the year began in earnest today, with temperatures in western Riverside County soaring into the mid-90s and edging above 100 in the Coachella Valley, prompting forecasters to advise against outdoor activity to limit exposure.

According to the National Weather Service, the intense heat will continue through Saturday, with temperatures remaining unseasonably warm Sunday, followed by a reprieve on Monday before another scorcher arrives in the middle of next week.

A heat advisory issued by the NWS is in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday. The advisory encompasses the entire inland region, noting, “This will be the first widespread heat of 2020 (for the area).”

“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun,” the NWS advises. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Riverside County officials were slated to make an announcement later this afternoon regarding the potential opening of cooling centers, under coronavirus-related restrictions.

According to forecasters, the high in Riverside Saturday will be 96, while in Palm Springs, the mercury will slightly exceed 100, and the Temecula Valley will enjoy slightly cooler temps, in the low 90s.

Clear skies will reign all weekend, with some clouds in the mornings.

Meteorologists said temperatures will moderate Sunday night through Monday, but another spike into the 90s for most of the region is predicted Tuesday and Wednesday, as a ridge of high pressure builds over the region.

City News Service (CNS)