Updated on September 5, 2022 at 11:55 a.m.
Riverside, CA -- Excessive hot conditions for the Inland Empire and most of Southern California are expected to continue into Thursday, the National Weather Service (NWS) announced Today.
In the last week, Inland cities and areas in the Eastern Coachella Valley have recorded scorching temperatures of 105 and 115 degrees. NWS says the excessive heat wave warning will now be in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday September 6.
The heatwave has increased poor air quality across the region, according to air monitor readings conducted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). According to the agency’s data, air monitors in Redlands and San Bernardino show ozone levels in the .100 parts per million (ppm) region. The federal ozone standard is currently at .070 ppm.
“Levels of ground-level ozone (smog) – the predominant summertime pollutant – are likely to reach [unhealthy] levels in inland areas of the South Coast Air Basin most afternoons,” reads a statement released by South Coast Air Quality Management District earlier this week. “Even worse air quality is expected in the San Bernardino Mountains and San Bernardino Valley with Very Unhealthy [Air Quality Index] levels possible in the afternoon hours.”
Higher temperatures mixed with nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particle pollution create ozone (smog). Exposure can cause severe lung damage and cause asthma, cancer or premature death, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).
“With increasing temperatures come increasing risks that unhealthy air will follow," said William Barrett, director of clean air advocacy for the ALA. "We encourage everyone to monitor current air quality conditions and take steps to avoid exposures that can trigger poor health outcomes, especially for kids, seniors and others with lung and heart health conditions.”
People who are working outdoors are being encouraged by the National Weather Service to drink more water than usual and avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks known to hydrate. People with pre-existing conditions are encouraged to stay indoors.
Hourly air quality forecasts are available at www.aqmd.gov/forecast.
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: Air Quality Index (AQI) is 101 - 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to air pollution. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
- Unhealthy: AQI is 151 - 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
- Very Unhealthy: AQI is 201 - 300. Everyone may experience more serious health effects. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Local Cooling Centers
For locations in Riverside County, visit the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County website. For places in San Bernardino County, visit the United Way of Inland Southern California website.