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Heat index could hit ‘dangerous levels’ for 4th of July weekend

June 30, 2011 | 10:30 am

Heat

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, weather forecasters are predicting that hot weather will hit the Southern California, with the heat index possibly approaching "dangerous levels," according to a statement from the National Weather Service.

Although temperatures along the coast are expected to be a few degrees above normal, inland temperatures will see the greatest increase, warming five to 15 degrees above normal, weather service officials said.

Temperatures for some locations in the Antelope Valley and San Fernando Valley were expected to hit or top the 100-degree mark, with daytime highs ranging between 100 and 110 degrees, according to weather service predictions. Some interior coastal foothill locations, such as the Hollywood Hills, might see temperatures top out in the 90s, forecasters said.

Weather officials said the coolest temperatures during the heat wave would occur at the beaches and areas closest to the coast "where onshore breezes will cool the land mass most efficiently each afternoon and evening."

For the latter part of the weekend, forecasters predicted that subtropical moisture would start to move into Southern California "making it feel even more hot and muggy for Sunday and Monday." During this time, afternoon and evening showers could possibly develop over the mountains and deserts, officials said.

They advised people planning to be outdoors over the weekend to conduct activities during the early-morning hours before temperatures reach their daytime highs, and to drink plenty of water. They also warned against leaving children or pets unattended in a locked vehicle, where temperatures "can climb to hazardous levels and can prove fatal."

Meanwhile, as Southern California's rainy season officially draws to a close Thursday evening, the Los Angeles area was expected to record above-average rainfall levels, according to the weather service.

Preliminary figures show that Los Angeles will have received an average of about 20.20 inches of rain for the period from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. That's about five inches above the normal rainfall level of 15.14 inches, said Bill Hoffer, a spokesman for the weather service. Measurements are taken at the Los Angeles Civic Center, and the previous 12-month period averaged 16.36 inches of rainfall, Hoffer said.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

Photo: A woman uses an umbrella to get some relief from the heat next to city hall Thursday afternoon. Friday's temperatures are expected to climb reaching triple digits in the valley areas. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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