RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A brutal stretch of heat begins Friday, Sept. 4 throughout Riverside County, with conditions that will increase the risk of wildfires in the Riverside metropolitan area and the Riverside County mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
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 will be in effect from 10 a.m. Friday 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.
High temperatures today are forecast to reach 114 degrees in the Coachella Valley, 108 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 105 in Hemet and Riverside, 104 in Lake Elsinore, 100 in Temecula and 93 in Idyllwild.
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.
Highs in the Coachella Valley could reach 122 on Saturday, 121 on Sunday and 123 on Monday, forecasters said. The mercury in the Riverside metropolitan area is expected to soar to 115 in some communities on Saturday, then potentially reach 118 on Sunday.
Riverside County has 35 cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place.
A full list of the cooling center locations can be found at: https://www.capriverside.org/Cool-Centers.