Temperatures will soar into the triple digits Friday throughout Riverside County, increasing the likelihood of poor air quality and potentially causing deadly conditions for residents caught in the heat.
“Take this heat seriously, even if you’re healthy and feel you are acclimated to high temperatures,” county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said. “Temperatures like those predicted can lead to life-threatening issues. Just a few precautions can help you stay safe.”
According to the National Weather Service, a stationary ridge of high pressure will dominate Southern California, pushing the mercury above 100 degrees in the Riverside metropolitan area, with the thermometer climbing toward 120 in the eastern Coachella Valley.
The NWS issued a heat advisory that took effect at 10 a.m. and will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Monday, noting that “periods of hot temperatures … will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.”
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” according to the NWS.
The conditions prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to warn that very poor air quality could occur in many areas.
“Levels of ground-level ozone (smog) — the predominant summertime pollutant — are likely to reach the unhealthy to very unhealthy level in the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, the Inland Empire and the San Bernardino Mountains,” according to the AQMD.
Officials advised that people can develop various health problems due to ozone air pollution, ranging from labored breathing to asthma attacks and lung damage.
“Research also indicates that ozone exposure can increase the risk of premature death,” according to the district. “Children, older adults, and people with asthma or COPD may be more sensitive to the health effects of ozone.”
Cooling centers will be open daily during the heat wave, providing county residents who do not live in climate-controlled environments a free cool space to relax until the evening hours.
A complete list of cooling centers is available at https://www.capriverside.org/Portals/0/PDF/Cool/2019_Cool_Center_Directory_7_10 _2019.pdf.
According to meteorologists, the broiling air mass will keep highs in the low 100s around Riverside, Perris, Murrieta and surrounding locations until Tuesday. The mercury will approach 120 in Indio, Thermal and parts farther east over the same period, the NWS said.
The upper-level ridge will weaken by the middle of next week, with seasonable temps gradually returning, according to the Weather Service.