July 8, 2008

Heat Wave Will Bypass Coast

By Andy Franks

The Long Beach coast will escape the extreme heat wave that lies ahead for much of California this week, forecasters said Monday.

Long Beach coastal temperatures will average around 80 degrees, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Allan Reppert. Areas a little farther from the beach will feel a bit warmer.

In Downey and surrounding areas, temperatures will be in the low 90s, which is a few degrees higher than average, he said. Highs are expected to remain constant through the week.

A high-pressure zone anchored over Oregon, Nevada and parts of Northern California will draw inland desert heat westward and effectively erase the marine influence on parts of the coast, according to Reppert. An increase in temperatures will also compound firefighting challenges in Northern California.

Comparatively, parts of the Central Valley will see temperatures rise 10 to 15 degrees higher than average and into the triple- digits.

National Forest Service spokeswoman Karen McKinley told reporters over the weekend, "Any time temperatures increase and relative humidity goes down, the fuels get drier and you have a more combustible situation. There is a lot of concern for firefighter safety."

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