Cooler temperatures — and maybe some showers — headed to SoCal this weekend, but the worst of the heat will likely hit the South starting Tuesday, with the temperature forecast to top out at 100 degrees by Wednesday, and climb to 104 by Friday.
In addition to the expected heat, the area is set for the third week of the most severe wildfire season on record, with at least eight fires currently burning in or near the region — including five that are out of controlled.
The biggest of those fires, the Thomas Fire, has burned 16,000 acres. There are six other fires burning in southern California, including the 2,000-acre San Gabriel Pass Fire, which is burning along Highway 50, between Interstate 5 and the city of Ventura.
The two-day period starting Tuesday will also feature the first forecast of significant rain in the Los Angeles region from an anticipated storm system that’s due to pass over the Los Angeles basin on Thursday, officials said.
“This is significant because of the amount of time it takes for rain to arrive in most parts of the country,” said meteorologist Mike Fica of the weather service’s National Weather Service. “This rain brings with it the potential to be a very significant rain event for Southern California, with heavy rain falling from northern California to the Central Valley.”
After a wet start on Friday, the rain will gradually increase over the next two days, with most of it falling from Thursday through Saturday, according to weather service forecasters.
A strong cold front will bring some showers to the area on Monday morning but will then move northward Monday night, said meteorologist Andrew Basile of the weather service’s Los Angeles office. He said the rain should taper off Tuesday but might cause some minor flooding.
“There won’t be any significant rain on the L.A. River, but there will be a little rain near the Santa Monica Bay and it’s also drier in the city,” Basile said. “And there will be showers on Wednesday coming from the south.”
The same system that brought steady rain to the area on Friday also brought gusty, dangerous winds in the morning, according to the weather service. Wind gusts could reach up to 40 mph from Santa Barbara as the system passes over the region.
“It will be blowing from the southwest and southeast at times,”