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Excessive heat continues in deserts; inland temperatures cool slightly

SAN DIEGO -- Extreme heat is in the forecast for the deserts again Thursday, but temperatures in the rest of inland San Diego County will be somewhat lower than they had been for the past few days.

On Wednesday, the mercury soared to 116 degrees in Ocotillo Wells. One day earlier, a high of 124 degrees in the same sun-blasted desert community became the highest temperature ever recorded in San Diego County, topping by two degrees the previous record of 122 degrees, set in Borrego Springs last year, according to the National Weather Service.

An excessive heat warning for the deserts will remain in effect until 9 p.m. Monday. A less severe heat advisory for the valleys and mountains was allowed to expire.

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Predicted high temperatures Thursday are 75 to 80 degrees in inland coastal areas, 79 to 84 degrees in the western valleys, 88 to 93 degrees near the foothills, 91 to 101 degrees in the mountains and 111 to 116 degrees in the deserts, according to the NWS.

"It will not be quite as hot in the valleys the next couple of days as onshore flow increases, extending the marine influence farther inland," according to the weather service.

However, excessive heat in the deserts is expected to persist through the weekend and temperatures on Sunday could potentially soar as high as 120 degrees.

The immediate coast was spared from the extreme heat, but those headed to the beaches will have to contend with strong and potentially dangerous rip and longshore currents. A beach hazards statement will remain in effect through Friday evening.

The hot weather will increase the risk of heat-related illness and anyone working or spending time outdoors would be more susceptible, as will the elderly, children and those unaccustomed to the heat. Forecasters advised residents to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, drink plenty of water, wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Authorities have also warned against leaving children, seniors or pets in parked cars, which can heat up to lethal levels in just minutes, even with a window partially open.