Southern California braces for another September heat wave
A few thousand homes were without air conditioning today, which is expected not to be an unusual occurrence this time of year in Los Angeles. But it does mean the worst for a while.
It also means that the number of wildfires is headed upward, and the risk of more is higher than it’s been in recent years.
“A record number of people have been air-conditioned in Southern California because of the drought,” said Jeff Klinkenberg, spokesman for the U.S. air-conditioning industry.
This year’s heat wave is the strongest in nearly 50 years during the period we’ve been recording national heat records for our nation’s largest city, he said.
“If we’re lucky, it’s going to be another really hot Sunday that brings the average temperature up by 0.4 degrees and we get an overnight low of 78 degrees in the city of Los Angeles,” said Matt Anderson of Weather Underground and a meteorologist.
The first heat wave in Los Angeles occurred six years ago during August — this year’s was a little stronger than that last time, but the worst, with a score of 3.6, was in 1994.
The current temperature hit a record low of 97 degrees on Sunday, Anderson said. While those highs are still within the range of what meteorologists expect in Southern California, they have been unusually frequent in the past two decades.
In addition to air conditioning, the fire danger is also greater than normal because of the dry weather.
Southern California firefighters have been battling three fires: the Beaumont-Bryant and Firebaugh fires in Ventura County along the Salton Sea shoreline in Ventura County, and the fire west of Ventura County near Porter