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Fox News Weather Center

Record Heat to Intensify California Drought

The mercury will be on the rise across California through the rest of the week, challenging records across much of the state and helping to intensify the ongoing drought.

Records could fall from Redding to Sacramento and across the Southern Californian cities of Los Angeles and San Diego.

This heat wave will be similar to the one that occurred around the middle of March, but temperatures are expected to reach higher levels this time around.

Afternoon highs are forecast to rise well into the 80s across the Sacramento Valley to right around the 90-degree mark in the San Joaquin Valley on both Thursday and Friday.

The hottest weather will focus across the inland areas of Southern California and the deserts where highs will top out well in the 90s to near 100 F.

While some may enjoy the warmth, it will bring dangers to those across the Golden State.

Anyone planning to spend time in the outdoors should take the proper precautions to stay protected from the sun and the heat. This includes measures such as drinking enough water to wearing sunblock and lighter colored clothing.

It is important to never leave children or pets in vehicles during heat waves, even if the windows are cracked.

The windows of a vehicle act similar to that of a greenhouse, trapping the heat and making the temperature spike to dangerous levels in just a matter of minutes.

This can put the lives of children and pets at risk if left unattended in a vehicle for a long enough period of time.

The late-week heat is expected to moderate heading into the weekend, but temperatures will still remain above normal on Saturday and Sunday.

Even though the heat won't be as extreme as Thursday and Friday, people are still advised to use caution when spending time in the outdoors.

Unfortunately, this weather pattern will only worsen the extreme drought conditions gripping a majority of the state.

While recent storms have delivered rain to northern portions of the state, these storms have largely missed central and southern portions of California.

As a result, 93 percent of the state is experiencing a severe drought and 40 percent of the state is experiencing an exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Heat waves such as the one late this week can lead to what is known as a positive feedback loop. In this case, the hot weather dries out the ground due to evaporation. That results in a lesser chance of rain which in turn causes more heat to build.

This is not good news for the drought, especially since California is getting ready to enter their dry season.

"Now that a great portion of the rainfall season is in the rear view mirror, the writing is on the wall," said AcuuWeather.com Western Weather Expert Ken Clark.

Clark continued by saying, "The only good news is that major reservoirs are at a higher level of storage right now compared to last year."

Looking ahead through the rest of March and into the first week of April, it does not look like any storms will deliver meaningful rain to the Southwest.

The weather pattern would have to undergo a major flip for California to see enough rain to put a noticeable dent in the drought before heading into the summer.