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Southern California can expect a heat wave over the next few days. How hot could it get?

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Nearly a week after Hurricane Hilary dropped record rainfall across Southern California, the region can expect yet another heat wave over the next few days with near-record high temperatures in some areas and a heightened risk for wildfires and heat illness.

Over the weekend, temperatures are expected to heat up into the mid-80s to mid-90s in inland and coastal areas, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Kittell. Temperatures could rise by five more degrees Sunday in valley and inland areas.

On Monday, valleys and inland areas could see highs between 100 and 110 degrees, Kittell said. Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach are expected to range between 90 and 100 degrees. Similar temperatures are expected Tuesday.

“It should be similar to that, if not a little bit warmer than the middle of August heat wave that we had,” Kittell said.

The main drivers of the heat wave are a high-pressure system right over California and weakened onshore flow. Temperatures are expected to drop by about five degrees Tuesday before returning to normal Thursday and Friday.

Although Hurricane Hilary doused the region with rainfall, Kittell said that vegetation and brush, which serve as an ignition source for wildfires, were largely unaffected by the storm. The smaller, thinner vegetation had time to dry out this week and there hasn’t been enough time for the thicker brush to absorb the moisture from the rains.

“It doesn’t hurt. It’s a helpful factor because some of the soil might still be damp, but we’re still looking at elevated fire conditions for the heat wave,” Kittell said. “We’re not looking at red flags because there isn’t a lot of wind but there’s certainly fire risk.”

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