Hottest temperatures of the heat wave expected Tuesday; No rolling blackouts, so far

Don’t expect relief from the scorching heat any time soon.

The National Weather Service has extended an Excessive Heat Warning until Friday evening as a “heat dome” over much of California continues to deliver oppressively hot temperatures.

The warning extends to the greater Los Angeles area including downtown L.A., Beverly Hills, Compton, Culver City, Hollywood, and Lakewood, in addition to mountain valleys, desert areas, and the Inland Empire.

California power grid managers have extended a Flex Alert to a 7th straight day, asking residents to voluntarily conserve energy, particularly during peak use hours from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The National Weather Service is expecting temperatures to once again reach into the triple digits in the valleys, interior coast, mountains, and deserts. Highs could reach or exceed 110 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday before temperatures begin to cool.

“This is an extraordinary heat event we are experiencing, and the efforts by consumers to lean in and reduce their energy use after 4 p.m. are absolutely essential,” said Elliot Mainzer, CEO of the California Independent System Operator.

Tuesday is expected to produce the highest temperatures of the heat wave and, likewise, the greatest demand for electricity to date with California ISO forecasting a peak of 51,145 megawatts.

So far, Southern California has managed to avoid rolling blackouts during the heat wave which Mainzer credits to businesses, utilities, and residents doing their part.

“Over the last several days we have seen a positive impact on lowering demand because of everyone’s help, but now we need a reduction in energy use that is two or three times greater than what we’ve seen so far as this historic heat wave continues to intensify,” Mainzer said.

On Monday, demand peaked at 49,000 megawatts around 6 p.m.

In August 2020, rolling blackouts impacting roughly 800,000 homes and businesses lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to about 2 ½ hours – marking the first time outages were ordered in California due to insufficient supplies in nearly 20 years, according to California ISO.

(California ISO)

Los Angeles County Public Health offers the following recommendations:

  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you must go out, plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and wear a hat or use an umbrella.
  • Cars get very hot inside, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open. Never leave children or pets in cars. Call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
  • Beware of and know what to do for heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Call 911 right away if you see these symptoms: high body temperature (103°F or higher), vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and hot, red, dry, or damp skin. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Check on those at risk for heat-related illness, like those who are sick or have chronic conditions, older adults, pregnant women, children, those who live alone, pets, and outdoor workers and athletes.
  • If you are wearing a mask, avoid strenuous workouts wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purposes.
  • Visit your power company’s website or contact them by phone to determine if you are scheduled for a rolling power outage.

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