If you’re looking around and wondering what happened to autumn, you’re not alone.
After several beautifully mild days —and even a little rain —last week, this week will be downright toasty, forecasters say.
The National Weather Service says that temperatures in the Modesto area are running as much as 15 degrees higher than normal for this time of year in a seasonal heat wave seen “once every 10 to 30 years.”
The heat wave here is expected to peak on Tuesday, with a high of 88, before dropping a degree or two each day through the end of the week. Overnight lows will dip into the 50s.
But if you are feeling warm up here, the folks in Southern California have it worse. Temperatures there climbed into the upper 90s and over 100 on Monday as authorities warned of several days of dangerously high heat plus gusty Santa Ana winds that boost the risk of wildfires.
Temperatures were expected to top out as high as 105 even near the ocean through Tuesday and the high fire risk was expected to last through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
“This event is especially concerning because of the multiple-day nature of it, which we have not seen yet this season and such events have a history of large fires,” the weather service said.
A similar offshore wind event spread this month’s devastating wildfires in Northern California that killed 42 people and destroyed at least 8,400 buildings.
Southern California fire agencies put extra firefighters on duty and rangers patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains were on the lookout for signs of fire or risks such as people smoking in the sprawling area covered with dry grass that could spread flames quickly if ignited. The grass grew heavily this year following last winter’s heavy rains and turned into kindling after being baked by a long and dry summer.
Officials at the United States Fire Service said Monday that four hotshot crews and 20 engines —about 200 personnel —have been sent to the area in advance of possible fires. Available resources for the area also include 14 airtankers and 26 helicopters, the service said.
At Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers are hosting the Houston Astros for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The forecast calls for a high of about 100 degrees.
If it holds up, said John Thorn, a baseball historian, it would be the hottest World Series game on record.
The Los Angeles Times and New York Times contributed to this report.