high temperatures
Image via Twitter @NWSSanDiego.

The onset of a period of extreme midsummer heat brought toasty temperatures Thursday, including some in the triple digits, across the San Diego area.

A high-pressure system building over the southwestern United States sent thermometer readings into the low 80s along the coast, and up to 100 degrees and beyond in the inland valleys, mountains and deserts, according to the National Weather Service.

In Campo, the high of 105 degrees set a record for July 30, exceeding the prior milestone of 103, set in 1972, the federal agency reported.

Topping the list of lofty mercury readings was Octotillo Wells, where the afternoon swelter hit a scalding 118 degrees.

The heat wave is expected to peak on Friday — when temperatures could reach 121 degrees in the desert and climb to around the 100 mark in the western valleys — and continue through Sunday, according to meteorologists.

The predicted torrid conditions across the region prompted the NWS to issue a heat advisory for the inland valleys and mountains, and a more serious excessive-heat warning in the deserts, both effective through 9 p.m. Saturday.

The NWS urged locals to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, check up on potentially at-risk relatives and neighbors, and make sure to not to leave children, seniors or pets in parked vehicles, the interiors of which can quickly reach lethal temperatures in the heat of the day.

To help people find shelter from the heat, county officials last month opened air-conditioned “Cool Zone” spots in Borrego Springs, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Potrero, Santa Ysabel, Spring Valley and Valley Center.

A full list of the locations — where mandatory mask-wearing and social-distancing protocols are in effect — can be found online at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/hhsa/programs/ais/documents/Cool %20Zones%202020_07-09-20.pdf.

— City News Service