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Warming Begins In San Diego County Ahead Of Brutal Labor Day Weekend Heat Wave

An outdoor thermometer shows the temperature well over 100 degrees at Cowles Mountain on June 10, 2019.
Kris Arciaga
An outdoor thermometer shows the temperature well over 100 degrees at Cowles Mountain on June 10, 2019.

Temperatures will warm again throughout San Diego County Thursday before a heat wave arrives for Labor Day weekend and increases the risk of wildfires in the region, according to the National Weather Service.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning Saturday and extending through Monday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. The ISO predicts higher than usual electricity demand, mostly from air conditioning use, over the sweltering Labor Day weekend.

A strong, high-pressure system will build over California on Friday and begin ushering in the sweltering conditions over Labor Day weekend, forecasters said. Humidity will drop to 10-15 percent on Saturday and wind gusts out of the east are expected to reach 20-30 mph, setting the stage for near-critical fire weather conditions in the inland valleys and near the foothills throughout Southern California until Tuesday.

The NWS issued an excessive heat warning for the western valleys, mountains and deserts that will take effect at 10 a.m. Friday and last through 8 p.m. Monday. An excessive heat warning in coastal areas will be in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Monday.

The mercury in the deserts is expected to reach 119 on Sunday and 121 on Monday, forecasters said. Highs in the western valleys could reach 112 on Saturday and Sunday, while high temperatures near the foothills could remain in the triple digits from Friday through Monday.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Also, children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to "reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes," according to the NWS.

High temperatures Thursday are forecast to reach 78 degrees near the coast, 84 inland, 87 in the western valleys, 96 near the foothills, 98 in the mountains and 113 in the deserts.

To help the public beat the heat, the county is offering nine cooling centers in Alpine, Borrego Springs, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Potrero, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Spring Valley and Valley Center. Due to the coronavirus, mandatory mask-wearing and social-distancing protocols are enforced in the facilities.

A full list of the cooling center locations can be found by clicking here. All locations will be open from noon to 5 p.m. throughout Labor Day weekend.