SAN DIEGO - A spell of extra-hot summer conditions began settling over the Southland Thursday, setting a few heat records in the toasty eastern reaches of the San Diego area while driving locals to seek relief in the ocean, swimming pools and air-conditioned buildings.
A strong high-pressure atmospheric system led to some wilting temperatures in inland communities across the region, including El Cajon, where the afternoon high of 94 degrees topped the former record of 93 degrees, set in 2014; and Ramona, where the maximum reading exceeded the prior July 6 milestone of 98, logged in 1976.
As would be expected, it was particularly scorching in local desert locales, including Ocotillo Wells, where the swelter reached 114 degrees, and Borrego Springs, which came in close behind at 113.
Other highs across the county, according to the National Weather Service, included 101 degrees in Valley Center; 98 in Alpine; 97 in San Pasqual Valley; 95 in Escondido; 93 in Poway; 91 in Fallbrook; 90 in Miramar and on Palomar Mountain; 89 in La Mesa; 87 on Mount Laguna and in Rancho San Diego; 86 in San Marcos; and 84 in Lemon Grove and Vista.
It was somewhat cooler along the coast, where the mercury maxed out at 80 degrees in National City; 79 at Lindbergh Field; 77 in Chula Vista and Encinitas; 76 in Imperial Beach and Solana Beach; 75 at Carlsbad Airport; 70 at Oceanside Harbor; and 69 in Del Mar.
A National Weather Service excessive-heat warning for the deserts is set to take effect at 11 a.m. Friday and extend until 9 p.m. Saturday. A less severe heat advisory for the mountains and valleys will run concurrently.
In the mountains over the period, the heat and isolated thunderstorms will increase the risk of dry lightning, which can spark wildfires, forecasters advised.
Additionally, the sultry conditions will raise the risk of heat-related illness, and anyone working or spending time outdoors will be more susceptible, as will the elderly, children and those unaccustomed to the high temperatures, authorities cautioned.
The weather service advised locals 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.
Officials also repeated their standard warning 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.