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Winter heat wave to scorch Southern California

Highs approaching 90 degrees in Los Angeles metropolitan area

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

An unusual winter heat wave will hit truckers in Southern California the rest of the week.

A strong ridge of high pressure, plus persistent dry offshore winds, will allow afternoon highs to reach the 80s to 90 degrees in parts of the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. This is 15 to 25 degrees above normal for early to mid-February, flirting with record highs.

Besides daily records possibly being tied or broken, Los Angeles’ all-time February high of 92 degrees may be in jeopardy. This record has stood since Feb. 3, 1963.

The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for places such as downtown Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Northridge, Burbank, Malibu, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Gabriel and Pomona. These areas could see some of the hottest temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees Wednesday through Sunday.

To be on the safe side, truckers should stay out of the sun as much as possible and drink plenty of water. For flatbed drivers who have to spend time outside tarping and tying down loads in the heat advisory locations, wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes can help reduce the chance of heat illness.

Along with the heat will come the return of Santa Ana winds. These are dry offshore winds that flow from the Great Basin toward Southern California. These gusts will hit 40 to 55 mph Wednesday and Thursday, increasing the risk of rollovers and periodic dust storms.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 in California from San Clemente to Gorman.
• Interstate 8 in California from El Cajon to Bankhead Springs.
• Interstate 10 in California from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.
• Interstate 15 in California from Escondido to Cajon Junction.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.