Santa Monica resident Eric Borkgren, 42, works for a tech services firm that had planned a "beach day" to beat the heat, August 24, 2010.
The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for the inland areas and valleys across Southern California today, as temperatures are expected to soar past the century mark.
The heat wave should peak today or tomorrow, while some high temperature records are expected to fall, NWS officials said.
Noticeably cooler weather is expected by the weekend.
"Dangerous heat'' is predicted for the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, as well as the mountains in lower elevations, through Wednesday evening.
Bay Area transplant Erica Taber was enjoying her day off from work at Santa Monica beach and said she was glad summer weather has finally arrived.
"It’s been cold all summer long, so since it’s heated up — might as well take advantage of it while I can. This year really sucked. You know, two weeks of good weather all summer long. This is not traditional Southern California weather. So it’s nice to be out and enjoy the rays," Taber said.
Taber works in a gym and moved to Los Angeles three years ago from San Francisco, to escape the Bay Area’s year round fog and cool temperatures.
The heat warnings will remain in effect from noon until 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Forecasters warned everyone to guard against heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. The situation will likely be exasperated by expected high humidity.
Highs today and Wednesday are forecast to range from 98-108 degrees in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys; 102-110 degrees in the Antelope Valley; 96-107 degrees in the mountains below 6,000 feet; and 90-98 degrees across the Los Angeles metro area.
Orange County temperatures will be a tad cooler. Forecasters predict temperatures of 93-103 degrees in inland Orange County; 90-100 degrees in the coastal valleys; 100-110 degrees in the inland valleys; 90-100 degrees in mountain areas below 6,000 feet, and 100-117 degrees in the deserts.
The Weather Service recommended that people in the affected areas avoid strenuous outdoor activity if possible, drink plenty of liquids, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and a hat, and never leave children or pets in enclosed vehicles, even briefly.
People should also check on housebound relatives and friends, especially those who spend much of their time alone.
Los Angeles' air-conditioned libraries, senior centers and parks and recreation facilities will be available to provide relief. In the San Fernando Valley, the following facilities can serve as ``cooling centers'':
- Canoga Park Senior Citizen Center, 7326 Jordan Ave.
- North Hollywood Senior Citizen Center, 11430 Chandler Blvd.
- Sepulveda Recreation Center/Mid-Valley Senior Citizen Center, 8801 Kester Ave. in Panorama City
- Sunland Park Senior Citizen Center, 8640 Fenwick St.
- Sylmar Recreation Center, 13109 Borden Ave.
- Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Senior Center; 5040 Van Nuys Blvd.
- Wilkinson Senior Citizen Center, 8956 Vanalden Ave. in Northridge.
More information can be found by dialing 311 or (213) 228-7000. Library schedules and addresses are also listed on the Web site, www.lapl.org/branches.
The Recreation and Parks Web site offers a link to senior center information: www.laparks.org/dos/senior/senior.htm
KPCC's Brian Watt contributed to this report.