A "dangerous heat wave" maintained its grip on the Southland Wednesday, sending some valley temperatures past the century mark, but residents got a bit of a break in the form of lower-than-expected humidity levels.
But that break likely offered little relief for residents dealing with the elevated temperatures.
By early afternoon, temperatures hit 106 in Chatsworth, 100 in Van Nuys and Glendora, 108 in Saugus, 107 in Lancaster and 106 in Woodland Hills, according to the National Weather Service.
The heat wave -- both daytime highs and overnight lows are running several degrees above normal -- was expected to persist through the weekend.
Temperature highs will climb down by a couple of degrees on Sunday, but no cooling trend will begin in earnest until Monday, when highs are expected to be around five degrees lower than today, according to an NWS forecast.
"Strong high pressure over the southwestern portion of the United States combined with weak onshore flow will push daytime temperatures well above 100 degrees across inland areas this week,'' an NWS advisory said Wednesday morning.
The warmest locations will be in the western San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley, where highs between 105 and 110 are expected.
But the NWS this morning cancelled an excessive heat watch that had been issued for much of the region, saying the humidity will be lower than had been forecast.
"Maximum daytime heat index values are now forecast to remain just
below heat warning levels over the next three days,'' the weather service said
in an advisory. "The lack of humidity will keep heat index values less than
the actual air temperature.''
Nonetheless, "This is still a dangerous heat wave, which will last through the weekend,'' according to the advisory.
"Persons living or traveling to the valleys, mountains and the deserts need to take proper heat precautions. Stay out of direct sunlight, drink plenty of water and limit physical exertion during the afternoon and early evening.''
Forecasters noted, however, that humidity levels are expected to rise again by Friday, which will likely be the hottest day of the week. An excessive heat watch will be in effect Friday afternoon and evening in the mountains and valleys.
"Heat index values, which take into account the air temperature and humidity, are expected to reach or exceed 105 degrees in many valley locations in Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Friday and over 100 degrees in the lower mountain elevations, mostly below 4,000 feet,'' according to the NWS.