Cool weather to give way to heat wave in Los Angeles area

Cool and cloudy conditions are expected to continue through Sunday, but by midweek, a heat wave is expected to hit the Los Angeles area.

Temperatures will start to rise Tuesday and will peak Thursday, with highs in the lower to mid-80s at the beaches and the lower to mid-90s in the valleys and downtown, said David Sweet, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The heat is expected to persist through Friday.

Although temperatures are expected to be 15 to 20 degrees above normal, records are unlikely to fall because previous years have been “so incredibly warm,” Sweet said.

Still, he said, “it’s a pretty significant heat wave. It’s not very typical for the first week of April.”

People are advised to drink plenty of liquids and avoid too much exposure to the afternoon heat.

A strong onshore flow that’s bringing cooler, cloudier conditions this weekend is expected to transition to an offshore flow, which will cause the air to descend into the Los Angeles Basin from the mountains, warming and drying it, Sweet said. At the same time, an area of high pressure will be moving in later in the week, he said.

“We go from cooler northwest to west winds this weekend and early next week to very light northeast winds later next week, and the high pressure plus the descending air into the basin will produce very warm temperatures,” he said.

Although winds will be moderate to strong this weekend into early next week, by the time the heat wave sets in, the winds will be light, he said.

“So that’s good news in a sense because if you have very hot, very dry conditions, plus gusty winds, we’d be very concerned about fire,” he said. Although there may be an elevated risk of fire late next week, the light winds combined with relatively moist vegetation due to recent rains mean it’s unlikely to be too much of a problem, he said.

In the meantime, cooler, cloudy conditions are expected to prevail through Sunday, followed by some clearing in the afternoon Monday and Tuesday, Sweet said.

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