California, already facing drought, wildfires, and high temperatures, is now in for a new, potentially record-setting heatwave. Temperatures in inland regions will climb into the triple digits into the weekend, with possible highs of 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas, per the Guardian and Los Angeles Times. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for much of the state that will last into Monday, reports Yahoo. Temperatures could hit 112 degrees in the Antelope and Cuyama Valleys and interior San Luis Obispo County, 115 degrees in the Central, Apple, and Lucerne Valleys, 116 degrees in the valleys of San Diego, and 120 degrees in desert areas like Palm Springs. Meanwhile, Death Valley could see 130 degrees, "the highest temperature recorded there or anywhere on the planet in decades," per the Washington Post.
NWS meteorologist Eric Schoening says it "will be a long duration event, where it is not going to cool down much at night. So it is a dangerous time for the state," per the Guardian. A heatwave over Fourth of July weekend sparked several fires and there are fears that more could erupt. "Vegetation is very dry on the hillsides because we’ve had two very dry years in a row" and "any time you have hot temperatures, that's also a contributing factor," NWS meteorologist David Sweet tells the Times. Extremely low soil moisture "is making it easier for these high pressure systems to generate extreme heat waves because more of the sun's energy is going into heating the atmosphere rather than evaporating nonexistent water in the soil," UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain tells NPR. "That's sort of the vicious cycle of drought and extreme heat in a warming climate." (Read more California stories.)