California's heat wave has eased slightly but many areas are baking again and a volatile mix of conditions has triggered thunderstorms in southern mountain ranges.
A string of triple-digit readings blazed before noon Thursday from Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley eastward through inland valleys and deserts to the Colorado River.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties east of Los Angeles where thunderheads are unleashing downpours.
Meanwhile, a swath from the Sierra Nevada up to the state's northeast corner is being warned that strong winds will develop ahead of an approaching cold front and humidity will drop below 10 percent, creating fire weather conditions.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.