Southern California breaking news and trends

Dry lightning, wind predictions prompt critical fire warning through Wednesday

lightning hermosa beach

Photo by Greg Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

A "Red Flag" warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for fire danger across our heatwave hampered region.

Critical fire weather conditions could occur through 5 p.m. Wednesday for the mountains, valleys and deserts of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

According to forecasters, thunderstorms containing little or no rainfall -- but with potential for dry lightning and wind gusts -- could occur as low pressure drops along the California coast.

Meteorologist Stuart Seto told KPCC that dry lightning strikes could fuel wildfires.

"There’s not a lot of precipitation with these storms. So it’s like regular lightning, but the precipitation isn’t there to put out the fires. And also with these thunderstorms, there could be gusty outflow winds. And that’s mainly winds that are coming out of thunderstorms that could enhance some of the fires."


Red hot record temps across the Southland


Screenshot via NOAA/NWS

"Oppressive conditions" continue as a triple digit heatwave harbors in Southern California. 

Woodland Hills melted on Monday matching a record high of 108 degrees that was set on Aug 6, 1997. In Ontario, the week started with a toasty 107 degrees that tied the record temp set for the date in 1983.

Punishing high pressure over the region is exepected to push through Thursday keeping temps above 100 degrees in valley areas before a weekend of monsoonal moisture and humidity moves in, according to advisories and forecasts from the National Weather Service.

Can the state's power grid handle the demand for extreme coolness? No sweat, said Stephanie McCorkle with the California Independent System Operator who told the Associated Press there should be plenty of electricty to keep AC units running.


'Oppressive conditions' as LA basin boils in triple digit temperatures

heatwave egg sidewalk street

Photo by Pockafwye via Flickr Creative Commons

This is not the week to take up running in the Valley.

With triple-digit temperatures forecast through Friday across the region, public health officials have issued a heat advisory for parts of Los Angeles County, and the National Weather Service forecasts "excessive heat" and "oppressive conditions" in and around the San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. 

Officials are urging everyone to wear light, loose clothing, drink plenty of water, check on friends and neighbors and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Prolonged hot temperatures can create potentially dangerous heat-illness situations. People without air-conditioning are advised to visit public facilities, and warned against leaving kids, elderly folks and pets unattended in vehicles, as temperatures inside cars can quickly rise to life-threatening levels, even with windows cracked.


19-year-old hiker found dead of possible heat stroke

cedar creek falls

Photo by Byron Hetrick via Flickr Creative Commons

Cedar Creek Falls, San Diego County

San Diego County responders were unable to save a 19-year-old woman found unconscious with signs of possible heat stroke on a hiking trail near Cedar Creek Falls on Monday.

Deputies say they've responded to a number of distress calls from hikers in recent days as Southern California sweats out the summer's first heat wave.

Elevated temperatures and increased humidity will create potentially hazardous conditions through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest heat is expected to hit lower desert areas with highs nearing 120 degrees.

Excessive Heat Warnings and Advisories remain in effect for Los Angeles/Oxnard and other portions of Southern California. 


Put a tow in the water: Battleship USS Iowa leaves for LA Saturday

USS Iowa Move

Ben Margot/AP

After weather-related (or perhaps, rematch-related) issues postponed the push-off from San Francisco Bay last week, the retired Battleship USS Iowa is finally set to complete its journey to the Port of Los Angeles.

Headed south to meet its new destiny as an interactive naval museum, the USS Iowa is scheduled to depart the Port of Richmond at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, and begin a four-day tow down the coast, provided the weather cooperates.

A decades-long member of the "mothball fleet," the powerful ship is expected to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge between 2-3 p.m. on Saturday as it makes its way out of the Bay area.

Those with an obstructed view or limited shore access, from, say, living anywhere else in the world that isn't the California coast, can still track the ship's movements, however.