Sweltering conditions to begin today in Riverside County

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Temperatures will climb well into the triple digits today in the desert and remain somewhat lower — but still unseasonably warm — in the rest of Riverside County as a heat wave is set to last through Saturday in the region.

High pressure centered over Baja California will continue to build this week, with temperatures expected to peak on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The Coachella Valley could see highs of 108 and 107 on those days.

The NWS issued a heat advisory that will be in effect from 10 a.m. today to 9 p.m. Friday in the Riverside metropolitan area. An excessive heat watch will also take effect at 10 a.m. today and last until 9 p.m. Friday in the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass.

High temperatures today are forecast to reach 105 in the Coachella Valley, 96 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 97 in Hemet, 96 in Riverside, 95 in Lake Elsinore, 93 in Temecula and 82 in Idyllwild.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

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.

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.

The high temperatures typically trigger the opening of cooling centers, which include libraries and senior centers where people can escape the peak daytime heat, but Riverside County officials were not prepared to coordinate the openings at this point due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are working with the Office on Aging to connect seniors with services during this heat wave,” county Director of Public Health Kim Saruwatari said Monday. “Community Connect is a one-stop shop. By dialing 211 from any phone in Riverside County, seniors can be connected with a number of services that are available.”