After weeks of unseasonably cool weather in San Diego County, temperatures are expected to skyrocket Monday bringing potentially dangerous heat to the region.
A hot spell overtook Southern California on Sunday bringing record-breaking temperatures to El Cajon with a high of 94 degrees and Ramona with a high of 102 degrees.
A similar weather pattern of potentially dangerous heat was expected to continue until Wednesday.
“We’re going to be sitting in an unseasonably hot weather pattern today and tomorrow so we have a weather alert,” NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said.
Parveen said the UV index is extreme for Southern California, meaning it is possible to sunburn in 10 minutes or less.
Most San Diegans who spoke with NBC 7 appeared to welcome the return of the sun.
“I love it, I’m from Texas; Ive been here for 11 years, I love the heat,” Jodie Flores said after an early morning hike at Cowles Mountain. “Yeah, it’s [been] too gloomy around here it makes me sad. When I see the sun it’s better for me.”
She said she took extra water to prepare for her hike on Monday — when temperatures were expected to be in the 90s inland.
Miles Van Guilder and his daughter, Jenna, frequently hike the East County San Diego mountain.
He said to prepare this time, “We came a little earlier and we didn’t bring the dogs.”
At the mountain peak, the two spotted what appeared to be a rattlesnake, which tend to prefer the warmer temperatures from April to June, according to the County of San Diego.
“We got to the top and we were going to do some pushups and my daughter saw a stick and it turned out not to be a stick,” Van Guilder said.
Temperatures will continue to climb into the low to mid 110s in the deserts on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the lower deserts including the Anza-Borrego Desert from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
An excessive heat warning is issued when there is a risk for heat overexposure that can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion and can lead to heat stroke. The NWS advises people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and out of the sun.
“If you’re in our inland valleys or foothills, even the mountains and of course the deserts, you need to stay hydrated and have the SPF 30 or higher because we’re not going to have much of a marine layer today,” Parveen said.
Temperatures inland are expected to be in the 90s while the coast will see temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s with plenty of sunshine.
The County of San Diego is offering residents several indoor locations where they can beat the heat. For a list of Cool Zone locations, visit here.
A big cool down is expected during the latter half of the week, Parveen said.
NBC 7 weathercaster Llarisa Abreu said the fire risk in San Diego County remained low because humidity in the region was high. But powerful wind gusts in prone areas does not entirely rule out the possibility for wildfires.
Several brush fires erupted across the state over the weekend, including a small wildfire in Rancho Peñasquitos Canyon. The fire’s progress was stopped before it could scorch more than a half-acre.
In the Los Angeles area, amusement park-goers were evacuated from Six Flags Magic Mountain due to air quality as a brush fire in Valencia sent smoke billowing above the park. The fire burned 40 acres before its progress was stopped.
A brush fire in Yolo County in Northern California scorched more than 2,000 acres and was still burning as of Monday morning. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire was 20 percent contained.
San Diego County has tips on how to prevent wildfires, how to protect your home from wildfires and more emergency preparedness information here.