Fox News Weather Center

Heat Begins to Ease in Southwest

Temperatures will start to ease in the interior Southwest on Sunday, but will still remain above average for the second half of the weekend.

Afternoon highs will range 5 to 15 degrees above normal across much of the region while the coast remains cool due to a slow-moving area of low pressure in the Pacific.

On Saturday, intense heat challenged records in the Valleys of California, as well as parts of Nevada and Arizona. Redding, Calif., smashed their record high for the day by climbing to 111 degrees (old record of 100 set in 1996). Las Vegas also set a record for the day, reaching 112 (old record of 111 set in 1955).

Although the heat won't be as intense today, highs will still climb into the upper 90s and low 100s in the Valleys of California as well as southern parts of Nevada and Arizona.

People are reminded to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the midday and afternoon hours, when temperatures will be the highest and the sun is most intense.

In addition to the heat, dry afternoon thunderstorms will increase the threat of wildfires across the region.

Lightning from these storms can easily spark wildfires due to this year's dry conditions.

Rainfall This Year
Percent of Normal
San Francisco 1.85 14%
Los Angeles 2.63 25%
San Diego 3.33 48%
Sacramento 3.69 31%
Fresno 2.28 30%

The table above shows several cities in California, the amount of precipitation that they have received so far in 2013 and the percent of precipitation they have received when compared to normal.

Temperatures will return to more seasonable levels for the first part of the week with highs only a few degrees above normal.

Unfortunately, conditions will remain dry throughout next week which will not help to reduce the threat of wildfires.

Story by Meteorologist Brian Lada.