By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A statewide flex alert was issued Friday with a stretch of hot weather forecast to begin across Southern California — a potential heat wave that at least one climate scientist said could be the worst the region has seen in a decade.

“I think this is probably gonna be especially across inland areas one of the biggest heat waves we’ve seen this decade,” Daniel Swain, a UCLA Climate Scientist, said. “We think a lot about wildfires being dangerous and floods being dangerous and earthquakes being dangerous, but over the past decade I believe heatwaves in California have caused more human harm that those things put together.”

The state’s Independent System Operator, or ISO, urged all Californians to conserve electricity from 3-10 p.m. Friday in anticipation of heavy demand due to residential air conditioning use.

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Extreme heat with a potential for heat-related illnesses was forecast to start this weekend, according to the National Weather Services. Triple-digit temperatures are forecast for the Inland Empire, Orange County, the Ventura County coasts and valleys, and could reach as high as 120 degrees in the low deserts.

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The high heat is being exacerbated by remnants of the tropical system “Elida,” which Cal ISO says is reducing solar generation, leading to tighter energy supplies.

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During the flex alert, Californians are being urged to turn off unnecessary lights, use major appliance before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m., and set their air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher.

The flex alert and heat wave are arriving with more Californians than usual are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Los Angeles says it will activate its cooling centers this weekend because of the heat wave. Capacity will be limited due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, and people should call ahead to check space availability.

The cooling centers will be open from noon to 8 p.m. from Friday through Monday at:

  • Sherman Oaks East Valley Adult Center, 5056 Van Nuys Blvd., (818) 386-9674
  • Slauson Multipurpose Center, 5306 S. Compton Ave., (323) 233-1174 or (323) 846-5392
  • Canoga Park Senior Citizen Center, 7326 Jordan Ave., (818) 340-2633
  • Lafayette Multipurpose Communityy Center, 625 S. Lafayette Park Place, (213) 384-0562
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For more information, call 311 or visit laparks.org.