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Extreme Heat Wave Continues In San Diego Area, Wildfire Risks Remain High

Sunny skies in San Diego County, July 18, 2020.
KPBS Staff
Sunny skies in San Diego County, July 18, 2020.

The extreme late-summer heat wave that has brought triple-digit temperatures to parts of the San Diego area is expected to continue roasting the region through Labor Day.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Monday for San Diego County deserts, mountains, valleys and coastal areas.

A red flag warning was in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday for county deserts, mountains and valleys. The alert signifies a likelihood of critical combustion hazards that can lead to "extreme fire behavior."


High temperatures along the coast Sunday were expected to be 88-93 degrees with overnight lows of 67-72, the weather service said. Inland valley highs will be 111-116 with overnight lows of 67-73. Mountain highs will be 103- 109 with overnight lows of 66-76. Desert highs will be 116-121 with overnight lows of 82-88.

Air moisture levels will drop to the 15-20% range Sunday with poor overnight recovery, according to meteorologists. Winds out of the east are expected to reach sustained speeds between 15-25 mph, with gusts potentially reaching 30-40 mph in the southern reaches of the county.

To beat the heat, people should drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day and check on potentially at-risk relatives and neighbors, the NWS advised. 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 federal agency.

To help residents escape the swelter, the county is offering nine air- conditioned 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 locations, which will be will be open from noon to 5 p.m. daily throughout the Labor Day weekend, can be found here.