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Warnings — and a call to conserve energy — as heat dome settles over the West

Record-breaking temperatures expected over the next few days

SHARE Warnings — and a call to conserve energy — as heat dome settles over the West
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Emma Vaquera, 3, of Pomona, plays in the splash pad at Monte Vista Park in Chino, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. Temperatures are expected to reach triple digits in Southern California as a heat wave that is forecast to last all week.

Watchara Phomicinda, Orange County Register via Associated Press

Temperatures could soar to 112 degrees in Los Angeles County over the next several days and Utah is experiencing record heat for this time of year as a heat dome grips states in the Great Basin.

According to a report by Newsweek, much of Southern California remains under an excessive heat warning that is not expected to loosen its grip anytime soon.

The dangers of heat: People are being advised to limit outdoor activity as much as possible, to stay well hydrated and to conserve energy as much as possible.

California’s power provider is asking people in particular to avoid excessive energy use during so-called “Flex” time — the hours between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when there is typically the most strain on the grid.

Those “Flex Alerts” mean setting the thermostat at 78 degrees, refraining from using large energy-sucking appliances like dishwashers or washing machines, and avoiding plugging in electric vehicles.

If residents don’t take these steps in the grid-vulnerable California, the power provider warns of possible blackouts, even as people prepare to celebrate the summer’s last big holiday — Labor Day.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the heat wave is expected to last through Tuesday next week.

“If weather or grid conditions worsen, the (independent system operator) may issue a series of emergency notifications to access additional resources and prepare market participants and the public for potential energy shortages and the need to conserve,” the officials warned Tuesday night in the Times story. “The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex Alerts over the long weekend.”

Widespread and persistent: AccuWeather warns that this blast of heat will be relentless.

“Beyond the intensity of the heat and the fact that in many locations there will be little relief at night or at the coast, this heatwave will be notable due to its persistence — day after day of extreme heat with temperatures in some locations such as California’s capital of Sacramento near or exceeding 110 degrees for three or more days in a row,” says AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist, Jonathan Porter.

California is not alone. Utah is experiencing seasonal temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal, the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City warned in a tweet.

The weather service says the trend of triple-digit temperatures will continue over the Beehive State, which has already seen 25 days of 100 degree temperatures or more.

With the heat comes ozone pollution, which triggered warnings from the Utah Division of Air Quality about the state of air quality.

The three-day forecast calls for unhealthy pollution levels into Friday.

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Fisi Tuatonga, Tempest Enterprises superintendent, checks the temperature of freshly spread asphalt on 1700 East near 300 West in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. Temperatures are expected to hover around 100 degrees in Salt Lake this week, potentially breaking records. The asphalt temperature needs to fall to at least 125 degrees for cars to drive over it.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News