BFF-02 California braces for record-setting heatwave, more fires

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US-CALIFORNIA-HEATWAVE

California braces for record-setting heatwave, more fires

LOS ANGELES, Sept 5, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – California is bracing for record-
breaking temperatures and dangerous fire weather conditions this Labor Day
weekend, with the National Weather Service urging people to limit outdoor
activity and to stay hydrated.

“Saturday and Sunday will be about 20 to 30 degrees above normal across the
entire area,” Frank Fisher, a NWS meteorologist for the southern part of the
state, told AFP.

“By Monday, we should be 10 to 20 degrees above normal … but still very
warm and dangerous outside,” he added.

Fisher said temperatures are expected to peak to 108 degrees Fahrenheit
(42.2 Celsius) in the Los Angeles area on Sunday and to 118 Fahrenheit (47.8
Celsius) further inland in Woodland Hills.

Excessive heat warnings through the holiday weekend and possibly beyond
have also been issued in other western states including Arizona and Nevada.

The warm temperatures in California come as the state is recovering from
another heat wave in mid-August and devastating wildfires that have burned
some 1.5 million acres in the last three weeks.

That heat wave also set records, with Death Valley — located near the
border with Nevada — recording a high of 130 degrees, one of the hottest
temperatures ever measured on Earth with modern instruments.

Weather forecasters said red flag warnings indicating the potential for
dangerous fire conditions had been issued in many parts of California for the
weekend, notably in the Santa Barbara mountains, north of Los Angeles.

“We have the heat, winds and low humidity,” a perfect cocktail for fires,
Fisher said.

“Our big issue with this excessive heat,” he added, “is the fact that it’s
a holiday weekend and a lot of people are going out.”

He said the National Weather Service was recommending people refrain from
outdoor activities such as hiking and remain indoors during the day.

Once the sun sets, however, evening temperatures are not expected to bring
much relief.

– ‘Warmest nighttimes’ –

“This is going to be the warmest nighttimes we are going to have in a
while,” Fisher said. “We are looking for temperatures to be in the upper 70s
and even upper 80s, the warmest being Saturday night.”

And if you’re expecting to go to a restaurant in the Los Angeles area or
other regions, where only outdoor dining is allowed because of the Covid-19
pandemic, you may want to think twice.

“Outdoor dining is not going to work this weekend,” Fisher said.

The situation is not expected to be any better further north — in the Bay
Area and beyond — where dangerous hot conditions are also predicted.

“It’s certainly gonna be hot all over,” said Jonathan Garner, a NWS
meteorologist for that region.

“In areas like Ukiah, the record of 108 degrees could be exceeded by one or
two degrees,” he told AFP, referring to a city about 115 miles (185
kilometers) north of San Francisco.

BSS/AFP/SSS/0845 hrs