Residents asked to cut back on energy as heat wave brings chance of thunderstorms

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A record-breaking heat wave was expected to once again send energy usage soaring in San Diego Wednesday, but temperatures are finally expected to cool slightly by the weekend.

San Diego Gas & Electric asked residents to “ramp up our conservation efforts a little early,” as the state’s Flex Alert hours were moved up to 2 p.m.

An excessive heat warning will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday in the San Diego County valleys, mountains and deserts.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Also, children, seniors and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to “reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” according to the NWS.

High temperatures Wednesday are forecast to reach 84 degrees near the coast, 92 inland, 95 in the western valleys, 102 near the foothills, 103 in the mountains and 118 in the deserts.

Monsoonal moisture could cause thunderstorms in the county mountains and parts of the western valleys Wednesday afternoon, forecasters said.

Highs in the deserts are expected to drop to 111 on Saturday, according to the NWS. The mercury in the western valleys is forecast to top out in the low-to-mid 90s through Friday, while highs near the foothills could remain in the triple digits through Friday.

Highs of 107 degrees in both Campo and Escondido set records for Tuesday’s date, topping the former milestone marks of 105 and 104 in those communities, set in 1950 and 1903, respectively. Alpine and Ramona also logged all-time Aug. 18 highs — 104 and 106 degrees, exceeding the prior records of 100 and 98, set in 1973 and 2007.

El Cajon saw a high of 102, which matched its previous record, set 105 years ago.

San Diego County has nine cooling centers available countywide with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols in place.

To help the public beat the heat, the county offers nine cooling centers. Alpine, Borrego Springs, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Potrero, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Spring Valley and Valley Center each have one “Cool Zone” location. Due to the coronavirus crisis, mandatory mask-wearing and social-distancing protocols are enforced in the facilities.

High pressure over the southwestern United States will slowly weaken starting Wednesday as it moves southward into Arizona, forecasters said.

A full list of the cooling center locations can be found here.

The city of San Diego also announced Tuesday that several recreation centers, libraries and other public buildings were serving as cooling centers amid the heat.

The following facilities will be open from noon until 5 p.m. daily until Sunday:

— MLK Recreation Center, 6401 Skyline Drive;

— Mountain View Community Center, 641 S. Boundary Drive;

— Mid-City Gymnasium, 4302 Landis St.;

— Cesar Chavez Community Center, 455 Sycamore Road; and

— Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.

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