An intense heat wave is already bringing dangerous conditions to inland and desert regions of Southern California.
Officials believe records could fall in these areas Saturday after some desert communities saw low overnight temperatures that barely dropped below 90 degrees.
“Borrego had a low of 88, breaking their old record of 87 from 1985. At 1 a.m. it is still in the mid-upper 90s in the deserts,” the National Weather Service said Friday. “Lows will only drop into the upper-80s to low-90s in the deserts, so the natural relief overnight will be minimal.”
Temperatures along the coast will be mild, in the 70s and low 80s, getting progressively hotter farther inland.
Much of Southern California will be blanketed until Monday morning by excessive heat that could send temperatures as high as 120 degrees.
Among the areas likely to be hit hardest are the San Diego County deserts, the Coachella and Antelope valleys, interior San Luis Obispo County and the Cuyama Valley. Saturday will likely be the hottest day in this heat wave, forecasters said.
The Apple and Lucerne valleys could climb as high as 120 degrees by the weekend — potentially the hottest of the year so far.
And in Death Valley, the notoriously scorching desert temperatures are expected to reach a blazing 130 degrees Sunday — potentially equalling the hottest temperature recorded on Earth in nearly a century.
The weather service also issued a heat advisory for the Santa Clarita Valley as well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura County mountains, areas where temperatures could soar to 105.
Forecasters warn humidity is also expected to be low, around 10% to 13%. The combination of low humidity, high heat and gusty winds create an elevated fire risk.
With highs expected near 112 degrees, “we could be looking at some daily records in Fresno, especially on Sunday and Monday,” said meteorologist Colin McKellar at the weather service’s Hanford office. In addition, Bakersfield, Merced and other areas of the Central Valley may break daily heat records over the weekend into Monday, McKellar said.
The Indian Wells Valley may experience its hottest day on record, McKellar said, with a high near 118 possible Saturday.
Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area are expecting temperatures up to 121 , according to the weather service.