RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The mercury in the Coachella Valley will reach well into the triple digits again today, but temperatures will cool quickly over the weekend and keep declining through early next week.
High pressure that has kept temperatures scorching all week will weaken substantially over the weekend, dropping highs in the Coachella Valley to the mid-90s by Monday and highs in the Riverside metropolitan area to the low 80s, according to the National Weather Service.
A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. today in the Riverside metropolitan area and an excessive heat watch will also last until 9 p.m. today in the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.
High temperatures today are forecast to reach 105 in the Coachella Valley, 94 in the San Gorgonio Pass, 100 in Hemet, 97 in Riverside and Lake Elsinore, 95 in Temecula and 86 in Idyllwild.
Temperature records were broken for Thursday’s date in Idyllwild, Thermal and Palm Springs. The 86-degree high in Idyllwild broke the previous record of 82 for a May 7, set in 2009. The average temperature for May 7 in Idyllwild is 70 degrees. Records date back to 1943.
The mercury hit 109 in Thermal, erasing the 105-degree record set in 2018. The average high for May 7 is 93. Records date back to 1950.
Palm Springs reached 110 degrees Thursday, breaking the previous record of 107 for May 7 set in 1989.
The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Also, young children 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.
Nighttime lows are expected to remain in the low- to mid-70s through Saturday in the Coachella Valley, meaning the minimal cooling at night could pose a health risk to those without access to air conditioning because the body needs time to cool down from the day’s heat.
The high temperatures typically trigger the opening of cooling centers, which include libraries and senior centers where people can escape the peak daytime heat. However, they were not able to be opened because of various restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Riverside County Director of Public Health Kim Saruwatari advised senior citizens to dial 211 to be informed of services available.