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Extreme heat hits Southern California; high of 112 degrees forecast in some areas Saturday

July 2, 2011 |  7:34 am

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Officials have issued extreme heat warnings for the July 4 weekend as forecaster predict that temperatures could soar to 112 degrees in some parts of L.A. County.

The heat wave is being caused by a high-pressure system and will bring a variety of weather conditions, according to the National Weather Service. Beach areas will see cloudy mornings giving way to highs in the 70s and 80s.

Other parts of the L.A. basin and Hollywood Hills will see highs in the 90s. The San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys are likely to see triple-digit temperatures.

The hottest temperatures will be in the Antelope Valley and parts of the Inland Empire, where temperatures could exceed 112 degrees. On Friday, according to the NWS, Palmdale and Woodland Hills each hit 101.

Officials urged people to take caution because of the heat.

"While people do not need to be told it's hot outside, they do need to be reminded how to take care of themselves, children, the elderly and their pets when the weather gets hotter," said Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer for L.A. County, in a statement. "When temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke."

A cooling trend will begin the in the middle of next week.

Here is some information about dealing with heat that may come in handy this weekend:

Question: What are some tips for avoiding heat-related illnesses?

Answer: Drink plenty of water but avoid caffeine and alcohol, which cause fluid loss. Drink fruit juice or sports drinks to replace salt and minerals lost through sweat. Take advantage of shade and air conditioning. Children, the elderly and pets should never be left in an enclosed vehicle, even briefly. The temperature can quickly rise to life-threatening levels even with the windows partly open.

Q: Are certain people more susceptible to heat illness?

A: Many of those who have died of suspected heat-related causes were either elderly people or transients who could not find shelter from the heat.

Q: What is heat stroke?

A: The body gets so hot that the normal mechanisms for controlling temperature, such as perspiration, don't work well or fail completely. The body's temperature can rise to 106 or higher.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: They include but are not limited to dizziness, hot and dry skin, high temperature, rapid pulse and headache.

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-- Shelby Grad

Photos: Sean Kelly, 10, from Newport Beach escapes the heat by cooling off at Wild Rivers in Irvine on Thursday.  Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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