By Brian Lada
Temperatures will be on the rise across the West early this week, challenging records from California to Washington.
The heat is forecast to peak around midweek with California and the deserts of Arizona set to sizzle under the blazing afternoon sunshine as the hottest areas of the West.
Those participating in outdoor activities should take the proper precautions to stay protected from the heat, such as wearing sunblock and drinking plenty of water.
Several cities in California, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Redding and Ontario, could have their first 100-degree day of the year.
Although other portions of the West are not expected to approach the 100-degree mark, temperatures in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada may still run 10 to 20 degrees above normal from Monday through Thursday.
This will still be enough to approach record levels on multiple occasions throughout the week.
The same weather system responsible for this heat will also yield dry conditions across the West Coast throughout the week.
Areas currently affected by extreme drought are more prone to seeing higher temperatures due to the lack of moisture available for evaporation.
With less evaporation, more of the sun’s energy goes directly towards heating the air and the ground, resulting in hotter and less humid conditions.
Consequently, these dry conditions in conjunction with low humidity will result in a heightened risk of wildfires.
Following Wednesday, temperatures are forecast to drop by a few degrees each day through the rest of the week.
However, temperatures will likely remain above normal through Friday and possibly into the first half of the weekend.
More at AccuWeather: Record-Challenging Heat to Build in West