Record heat strikes Southern California

Paris Johnson, 12, cools off underneath a spray of water at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Friday, July 7, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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On Friday it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk and bake cookies in a car.

The heat wave brought 111-degree weather and an excessive heat warning to the Santa Clarita Valley that is expected to continue into Saturday.

“There is a very high pressure area that has strengthened and moved over us and is expected to stay here Friday and Saturday,” said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service (NWS).  “With that we’re looking at a lot of records across the area from the coast to the inland, and for many areas including Lancaster and Palmdale.”

On Friday in Santa Clarita, temperatures almost hit the area’s record of 112 degrees, set in 1977. But Santa Clarita did, however,  break the record set for July 7 of 102 degrees in 1951.

Outside of Fire Station 150, a temperature gun measured the asphalt to be at 147 degrees and the concrete to be at 135 degrees during the mid-afternoon.

Santa Clarita residents attempted to escape the heat by wading in pools, jumping down waterslides and standing under streams of water near play equipment at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

During the heat wave, officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department are encouraging people to remain adequately hydrated and fed.

“If you’re going to hydrate—which is extremely important during the course of the day—not only drink water, but also drink an electrolyte-based solution as well and then mix those up,” Fire Captain Greg Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock also recommends that residents limit outdoor activities to the morning and evening, especially when it comes to things like exercising and walking dogs.

“We’ve actually had patients when they’re on the ground in the heat of the day in conditions like this and they can get second-degree burns because the pavement is so hot so think of what that’s doing to our little furry friends’ paws,” Hitchcock said.  “It’s always a good idea to wait until early in the morning or late in the evening to walk them.”

If people have to work outside during the day, they should remember to wear sunscreen with UV protection, a hat and light-colored clothing.

The excessive heat is expected to continue until Saturday evening after 9 p.m.

“We’re looking at the overnight lows and they’re staying very high in the 70s and 80s in the foothills,” Seto said.  “You don’t get much break in the heat.”

Some relief is expected to his the area Sunday when the high pressure system moves to east and cooling trends continue into Thursday, according to Seto.

Monsoonal moisture might create showers and thunderstorms in the mountains and deserts Sunday or Monday and could bring some clouds to the valley.

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