Find your cool: It's hot out there, but will get better by Tuesday

It doesn't work. Even in Northridge.
It doesn't work. Even in Northridge.
John Rabe

Sunday's temperatures weren't any relief from the rest of the steamy weekend. On top of that, lightning storms and flash flooding threatened Southern California's mountains and deserts, forecasters said.

Thunderstorms began to develop across the northeast part of the San Gabriel Mountains early in the afternoon. The National Weather Service said heavy rain was likely for Wrightwood and the desert communities along state Route 138 east of Palmdale.

A flash flood watch was in effect today in the Inland Empire until 7 p.m. because of the potential thunderstorm activity, as well as an excessive heat warning for the entire area.

National Weather Service meteorologists said the haze that is covering the Southland is evidence that enough moisture is airborne to trigger big thunderheads as the sun bakes the area to very-high temperatures today.

The storm-laden air mass will not move quickly, meaning that any thunderstorms that pop up will stay nearly stationary, the NWS warned. Flash flood watches were posted for mountain, foothill and desert areas from the
Sierra Nevada to the Mexican border for noon to 7 p.m.

"Temperatures will be well above normal today," the official summary read, "with heat index values near critical and dangerous levels again."

High temperature forecasts, for the second straight day, were today nudged up several degrees as an anticipated cooling trend fizzled. Temperatures reached in the low 90s in Los Angeles, with inland areas like Chatsworth and Woodland Hills seeing temperatures around 105 degrees.

The temperatures bucked predictions that the weather would cool over the weekend, forcing some cities to keep cooling centers open an extra day.

Senior centers and recreation centers in North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sunland, Sylmar, Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park will stay open until 9 p.m. tonight, and will be opened for those special hours Sunday, said City of Los Angeles parks spokeswoman Andrea Epstein.

California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana all reported higher than normal temperatures. Authorities in numerous states issued warnings for everything from fire danger to energy use to dehydration — and even to be on lookout for hungry bears.

David Sweet, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, says relief is in sight — the high pressure system is drifting east. By Tuesday, temperatures should be back to normal.

Within Los Angeles, information regarding specific locations of cooling centers and hours can be found by calling 3-1-1, by calling (213) 202-2700, or by going to www.laparks.org. Find a full list of cooling centers here.

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