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Another Southern California heat wave is on the way

A body surfer catches a wave at the Wedge in Newport Beach as Hurricane Marie brings a big swell to the coast.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
File: A body surfer catches a wave at the Wedge in Newport Beach as Hurricane Marie brings a big swell to the coast.

Temperatures have cooled down since the scorching heat wave earlier this week, but it seems that was just a test run for Southern Californians. Summer is finally upon us, and the National Weather Service is forecasting another spike in temperatures late this weekend which will reach its peak early next week.

Until the incoming high-pressure system travels closer, it’s still a little early to predict exactly how hot it will get, National Weather Service meteorologist James Brotherton told KPCC.

“There are still some uncertainties about how hot it will get, just because of the placement of the high-pressure area and the strength of the high-pressure zone,” he said. “It looks like it could get hot again Sunday through Tuesday.”

Temperatures could reach triple digits — anywhere from 110 to 120 degrees in the Valley, Orange County and the Inland Empire. Still, Brotherton said that releasing an excessive heat watch at this point would be premature.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, things are expected to cool down, but there's the potential for a monsoonal surge along the Southern California coast. Although there will be a drop in temperatures, this system could also increase humidity, he said.

A series of swells are also expected to accompany the forecasted heat wave on Friday and Saturday, said meteorologist Stephen Harrison. Waves will tower in the 5-8 foot range on beaches in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego county beaches — especially the "Wedge" in Newport Beach. 

The combination of warm temperatures and dominant waves will provide sunny beach days and the perfect opportunity for surfers, but Harrison said the strong currents will produce hazardous swimming conditions.

Most rescues occur when people get stuck on a pier of rocks while there’s a high tide or when they get caught in a rip current, lifeguard specialist Lidia Barillas said.

“In both of those situations, it’s good to remember to practice good judgement and swim within your abilities and keep a good situational awareness,” she said.

Here are some tips from Barillas for people planning a beach trip:

  1. Speak with a lifeguard before entering the water. All towers should be staffed, with more on duty where there’s higher activity.
  2. If you do get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until it subsides.
  3. Avoid drinking and swimming.
  4. Don’t keep your back to the water during high surf peaks.
  5. Always pack sunscreen, water and a hat.
  6. Watch out for wildlife. Apart from the recent shark sightings, there are also stingrays in the area.

If you prefer to stay away from the coast, here are some heat hacks to keep you cool.