Southern California continued to bake on Wednesday in sweltering conditions that are expected to extend through Labor Day weekend – with excessive heat warnings in effect across the region.
California’s independent system operator issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, for Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. due to high temperatures that are increasing the demand for energy and tighten the available power supplies.
Cal-ISO added in Southern California, temperatures are expected to be 10 to 18 degrees warmer than normal.
Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the high temperatures Wednesday during a press conference.
“The duration and intensity of heat waves has never been more challenging,” Newsom said. “So stay safe and stay hydrated.”
He encouraged residents to heed the call for conservation, noting that the days of greatest concern for power demand will come Sunday and Monday, over Labor Day weekend.
“Try not to use too much electricity during those key hours,” he said. “…Try to reduce your consumption as much as possible. If you’re not home, it’s a holiday weekend, Labor Day weekend, you go out to have fun, we encourage you before you leave the house if you can turn those thermostats up to 85 degrees, that would also help reduce demand.”
The prolonged heat wave began to push temperatures up on Tuesday, marking the start of an expected week-long spell of oppressive conditions.
The forecast prompted residents to take heatstroke precautions and conserve energy where possible, with state officials warning of a possible strain on California’s power grid.
Extreme heat and low humidity could also create elevated fire weather, National Weather Service forecasters said.
During Flex Alerts, residents are asked to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances and turn off unnecessary lights.
“Reducing electricity consumption during this time will ease the strain on the system and prevent more drastic measures, including rotating power outages,” according to Cal-ISO.