COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - A Dangerous Heat Wave has been slightly cooling around the Coachella Valley but temperatures are still holding at 110+ degrees. Wind gusts and low humidity are expected to keep the risk of fire high Wednesday as a massive brusher continues to rage in the San Gorgonio Pass.
A red flag warning for the mountains, the San Gorgonio Pass zone, which includes Banning and Desert Hot Springs, and the remainder of the Coachella Valley expired at 1 a.m. Wednesday. Despite the expiration of the warning, wind gusts between 30 and 45 mph remain possible Wednesday afternoon and evening, as the Manzanita Fire burned south of Beaumont at over 6,300 acres. The blaze was 26% contained as of Wednesday morning.
Windy conditions made it difficult for firefighters in the Beaumont area Monday night as they battled the Manzanita Fire, which quickly grew to 5,000 acres. And the Mart Fire ignited Tuesday in Highland growing quickly to 900 acres, signaling the beginning of wildfire season across Southern California.
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Temperatures in Palm Springs hit 122 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, setting new records for both days. Temperatures are expected to be sharply lower through the end of the work week moving forward.
Highs across Riverside County for Sunday included 122 in Palm Springs, 114 in Thermal, 115 in Indio, 102 in Pinyon Pines, 106 in Lake Elsinore, 108 in Hemet, 101 in Beaumont, 95 in Idyllwild and 106 at Riverside Airport.
The hot weather will increase the risk of heat-related illness and anyone working or spending time outdoors would be more susceptible, as will the elderly, children and those unaccustomed to the heat.
Forecasters advised residents to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, drink plenty of water, wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Authorities have also warned against leaving children, seniors or pets in parked cars, which can heat up to lethal levels in just minutes, even with a window partially open.
The Palm Springs International Airport recorded a temperature of 122 degrees last Tuesday. That tied the daily record high temperature for Palm Springs.
Thermal broke its record high temperature on June 20 at 122 degrees, surpassing last year's daily record of 121 degrees, according to the National Weather Service of San Diego.
Thermal has set a new record high today! 122 surpasses the old record of 121 set just last year. #cawx— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) June 20, 2017
California's ISO, or Independent Systems Operator has also issued a Flex Alert, which urges residents to voluntarily conserve electricity from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Residents will be especially urged to conserve during the late afternoon when air conditioners are typically at peak use.
An Excessive Heat Warning went into effect for the Coachella Valley and High Desert Friday at 11 a.m. and was extended more than once. It's now set to last through 9 p.m. Monday, according to KESQ First Alert Meteorologist Jerry Steffen.
We were at 110+ degrees over the weekend as well. We will be on a record high temperature watch through Wednesday.
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An Excessive Heat Watch has been posted for the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass areas through Wednesday. Clear and dry conditions continue for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday as Coachella Valley highs warm into the 110's.
Remember when Indio recorded its highest temperature for March 13th in 101 years in 2017? It was a sign that summer was definitely approaching quickly in the desert.
Dangerously hot temperatures are expected Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as late-afternoon Valley temperatures peak in the upper one-teens.
Did you know? Extreme heat has killed more people on average in the last 30 years than flood, lightning, tornados, hurricanes, cold, or wind? Check out the statistics.