The heat wave that has broiled much of the state of California for the past week is forecasted to continue until at least Friday, resulting in “extreme heat warnings” and possible rolling blackouts, according to officials.
In addition to causing dangerously high temperatures, the heat wave resulted in a statewide Flex Alert being extended through Tuesday evening, with residents across California receiving an emergency notification to their phone asking them to voluntarily conserve their power.
“Extreme heat is straining the state energy grid. Power interruptions may occur unless you take action,” read the alert sent out to people’s phones Tuesday afternoon via the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Management system. “Turn off or reduce nonessential power if health allows, now until 9 p.m.”
The alert sent out to residents’ phones came on the heels of the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat warning for much of Southern California, including Santa Clarita.
In a message distributed at approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday, NWS meteorologists said that the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as over a dozen other communities in the Los Angeles/Oxnard area, are forecasted to have “dangerously hot conditions with widespread temperatures of 100 to 112.”
Specifically for the SCV, the high temperatures are slated to range from 99 to 109 degrees through at least Friday evening. As part of their “excessive heat warning,” NWS officials warned residents that the weather will “significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” read the NWS statement. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.”
Via its official Twitter account, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) — the nonprofit corporation that manages the flow of electricity along the high-voltage electric grid throughout the state — said at approximately 6 p.m. that it had entered an Energy Emergency Alert 3.
“If necessary, the grid operator can now order rotating power outages to lower demand and stabilize the system,” read an ISO statement announcing the EEA 3. “If outages are initiated, consumers can expect to receive notifications from power providers on areas affected and time duration.”
According to ISO, Tuesday night’s peak electricity demand set an all-time high for California’s statewide power grid at more than 52,000 megawatts.
“Rotating power outages, or small-scale, contained, controlled interruptions in power, can help maintain reliability and avoid cascading blackouts,” read the ISO announcement. “When the ISO determines that supplies are not sufficient to meet demand, it can issue an EEA 3, and then if reserves are exhausted, it would order utilities to begin outages to bring demand back in line with available supplies.”
As of Tuesday at 6 p.m., no rolling blackouts had been reported in Santa Clarita.