(FOX 11 / CNS) More sweltering weather was on tap for the Southland today amid warnings to residents to reduce their electricity use to avoid power outages.
Showers and thunderstorms may hit the Antelope Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties this afternoon, National Weather Service forecasters said.
Today's temperatures will be 10-15 degrees higher than normal, according to the NWS, and overnight temperatures will also be unusually high as well, reaching 80 degrees in some areas in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
In some valley locations in Los Angeles County, the combination of high temperatures and low humidity will reach "critical levels'' today, producing high heat index values, according to an NWS advisory. That means it will feel even hotter than what is indicated on the thermometer.
The high pressure blamed for the 3-day-old heat wave may weaken slightly tomorrow and Sunday, but temperatures will remain above normal, according to the NWS.
Anyone planning to be outdoors in these hot, muggy conditions "should practice their heat safety,'' according to an NWS advisory. "Keep your body hydrated with plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.''
Forecasters urge residents to make use of their air conditioners. But the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power asked customers to conserve energy use, especially during afternoon hours.
Energy demand in Los Angeles has climbed to a high range -- averaging in the upper 5,000-megawatts, according to DWP officials. This compares to an all-time high -- 6,177 megawatts -- recorded on Sept. 27, 2010.
Power outages have been minimal, but officials warned that outages are still possible as more people operate air conditioners and other appliances that must work harder to perform in high heat. They urged customers to limit energy use as much as possible between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
turning the thermostat up to 78 degrees;
limiting the use of appliances during peak hours;
closing draperies to keep sun out;
turning off lights and equipment when not in use;
opening windows to create ventilation; and
unplugging "energy vampires'' such as cellphone charges, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when turned off.
The NWS forecast highs today of 79 in Avalon and Newport Beach; 84 at LAX; 87 on Mount Wilson; 95 in downtown L.A.; 96 in Long Beach; 98 in Anaheim and San Gabriel; 101 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 102 in Pasadena; and 105 in Woodland Hills and Saugus.
A slight cooling trend will start tomorrow, but no real break in the heat wave is expected before Monday.
From Hal Eisner:
It's 5am and - look at me - I've got a whole water park to myself. Buccaneer Bay is a water park run by the city of La Mirada. Because of the extreme heat they expect to be busy this weekend. And, knowing that people will be looking a place to keep cool they were welcoming to me and our crew when we asked to do some stories this morning.
For the most part it was me, publicist Tammie Acosta, lifeguards Jason and Tanya and a few staffers. Fun aside, I was there to share a story. What to do in excessive heat. We had comments from Dr. Stephen Jones. He's from the ER at Northridge Hospital. Nice guy. I've talked with him before. He told our Christina Gonzales they've had a lot of people coming into their Emergency Room with symptoms of too much heat. These things can range, he said, from light-headedness to stroke. He said make sure to drink lots of water. Dehydration is a big problem. Check on the elderly - neighbors and family members.
The water park will be open at 3pm today till 9pm. If I didn't have to leave and go home after work...I'd still be there. So refreshing!