RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A brutal stretch of heat continued Saturday, Sept. 5 throughout Riverside County, with conditions that will increase the risk of wildfires in the metropolitan area and the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
High temperatures Saturday were expected to reach 122 degrees in Palm Springs, 116 in downtown Riverside, 111 in Temecula, 108 in Beaumont, 101 in Idyllwild and 121 in Thermal, according to the NWS.
At 1 p.m. Palm Springs was already at 120 degrees and Riverside at 113 degrees, the NWS said.
Sunday won’t provide any relief, with high triple-digit temperatures again forecast across the region.
High pressure will strengthen over the West Coast throughout Labor Day weekend, ushering in the sweltering conditions, forecasters said. The heat, low relative humidity and gust winds out of the east will also elevate fire weather conditions on Saturday and Sunday.
Humidity will drop to the 15-20 percent range on Saturday and Sunday with poor overnight recovery, forecasters said. Winds out of the east are expected to reach speeds between 15-25 mph, with gusts potentially reach 30-40 mph near the San Gorgonio Pass.
An excessive heat warning is in effect through 8 p.m. Monday throughout Riverside County. The NWS also issued a fire weather watch from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon in the Riverside metropolitan area and the county mountains.
The fire weather watch comes with a warning that any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and outdoor burning is not recommended.
A brush fire developed at midday Saturday in Yucaipa, quickly growing to 400 acres and sending a large plume of smoke into the sky that was visible in many parts of neighboring Riverside County.
The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. 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 NWS.
Riverside County has 35 cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place.
A full list can be found at www.capriverside.org/Cool-Centers.