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Climate and Environment

LA Winter Brings A Heat Advisory And Elevated Fire Danger

The sun sets behind the silhouette of a person drinking from a water bottle.
NWS officials gave the same advice they do in summer heat waves: drink plenty of water, don’t overdue outdoor activities and don’t leave children or pets unattended in cars.
(Frederic J. Brown
Getty Images)
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Clearly Punxsutawney Phil’s powers of prediction don't extend too far west, because this SoCal February has local thermometers pushing 90.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory throughout the Los Angeles County and Orange County coasts, the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, and parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties through 6 p.m. Sunday.

A map graphic shows much of Los Angeles County and parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in red, indicating areas where a heat advisory is in effect.
(Courtesy National Weather Service.)

Forecasters say temperatures will reach 85 to 90 degrees Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and local heat records could well be broken.

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There’s also a high wind warning in effect for the county’s mountain regions until 4 p.m. Thursday, which could bring “damaging gusts” in foothill communities.

We’re tempted to see this as yet another perk of life in SoCal, but high temps and strong winds are a recipe for wildfires.

NWS meteorologist David Sweet told us he doesn't anticipate critical fire danger, but there’s “certainly an elevated level of concern” given the conditions of brush in local hills:

We’ve had a mixed season so far. We had quite a bit of rain in December and after that January, early February has been very dry. So with the current condition of the vegetation on the hillsides, we would define burn status as being elevated in terms of fire danger.

NWS officials gave the same advice they do in summer heat waves: drink plenty of water, don’t overdue outdoor activities and don’t leave children or pets unattended in cars.

So stay hydrated, keep cool and hopefully your summer clothes are clean and ready to get you through this hot winter Super Bowl weekend.

Safety tips from Southern California Edison
    • Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
    • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they may pose a significant fire hazard.
    • If you’re in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away. 
    • Water and electricity don’t mix. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
    • Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
    • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
    • Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage. 
    • Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.

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