Southern Calif. prepares for heat wave after mild summer

Southern California is finally heating up after a relatively mild summer.

Excessive heat warnings were issued for Tuesday through Wednesday for many areas in Central and Southern California. The National Weather Service says temperatures will range to 100-plus degrees on lower mountain slopes to 120 and more in the deserts.

Meteorologist Eric Boldt says the heat may not present any major wildfire problems since there will be very little humidity or winds. By Friday, the heat wave should be over.

Extreme heat will be a jolt to Californians who've had a cool summer thanks to cold water along the coast that kept forming a cloud cover over the state. County officials have issued a heat advisory for the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, as well as the Pomona and Lancaster areas.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) also announced that air quality is expected to be unhealthy in the Santa Clarita Valley today.

Boldt says water temperatures along the coast are still cool, in the 50s and lower 60s.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.