Fox News Weather Center

Western Heat, Fire Risk to Diminish This Weekend

After a string of record-breaking high temperatures in much of California, a gradual cooldown is in store heading into the weekend, helping to lower the risk of wildfires.

For Los Angeles and San Diego, Thursday will likely turn out to be the hottest day of the heat wave.

San Diego will likely break or tie a record high temperature for the fourth straight day on Thursday, with afternoon temperatures surging into the mid and upper 90s. Downtown Los Angeles will top out near 100 degrees Thursday afternoon.

As more of an onshore flow develops on Friday, it will not be quite as hot along the coast, but temperatures will still be well above average for the middle of May.

Big Cooldown Coming by the Weekend

Forecast High Thu. (Fahrenheit)
Forecast High Sun. (Fahrenheit)
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Portland, Ore.
Seattle, Wash.

Afternoon high temperatures Saturday will be 20 to 30 degrees lower than during the peak of the heat wave from San Francisco to San Diego.

The threat for wildfires will remain high on Thursday across interior parts of Southern California with the heat, low humidity and dry ground still in place. The wind will not be as strong as recent days, though, which should help slow the spread of any new or existing fires.

As the wind continues to diminish and humidity levels come up heading into the weekend, the threat for new fires will lessen even more.

Firefighters should also be able to get a much better handle on the fires that are already burning. This is especially true across San Diego County, where a State of Emergency has been declared after raging fires burned nearly 9,000 acres and forced thousands out of their homes.

The heat that has shattered records in California has even reached the Pacific Northwest, where Portland, Oregon, set a record high of 91 degrees Wednesday. Temperatures in the Northwest will drop significantly by the weekend with showers returning as well.

Runners heading to the Blaze the Beach Marathon in Long Beach, California, on Sunday will be happy to see the heat break. Temperatures much of the day will be in the 60s, a far cry from Thursday afternoon, when the high will be near 100.

This break in the heat will last into early next week across the West, with temperatures remaining close to average.