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Dog days of summer to continue through weekend

Posted: July 31, 2014 5:56 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2014 5:56 p.m.

A sunset over Six Flags Magic Mountain on Wednesday paints colors in the clouds brought northward through a monsoonal air flow from Mexico. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze

 

It’s official: The dog days of summer are here.

By the end of this weekend, however, increasing humidity over Los Angeles County could make it feel more like the lazy dog days of summer.

Along with coping with temperatures in the high 90s, Santa Clarita Valley residents will face increased moisture that’s expected to bubble up into Southern California from Mexico, forecasters said.

That moisture, also known as the monsoonal flow, will result in a greater chance of thunderstorms in mountains and deserts east of Los Angeles County by Sunday afternoon, National Weather Service weather specialist Bonnie Bartling said.

It’s only a slight chance, though, Bartling said.

“By Sunday, we have a weak upper-level low in the forecast that will drive moisture northwest from Mexico and bring that moisture into the (L.A. County) region,” Bartling said.

Because this monsoonal flow will pack much less atmospheric instability than the one that bore down on the region’s coastal areas earlier this week, Bartling was forecasting only about a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms actually developing over Southern California’s mountains and deserts.

“There’s no guarantee,” Bartling said. “But that doesn’t mean that somebody won’t get hit by lightning in the mountains or deserts.”

Last Sunday, a rare oceanic lightning strike in Venice killed a 20-year-old Los Angeles man and injured seven other people. Forecasters blamed the lighting on unstable weather conditions created when the remnants of a Mexican hurricane moved across Southern California’s coast.

“You need that instability, along with the afternoon heating, for the moisture to really kick off,” Bartling said. “That’s what sparks the thunderstorm activity.”

For Friday, SCV residents can expect the daytime temperature to hit 100, the National Weather Service forecast. A high of 98 was forecast for the area on Saturday and Sunday; then temperatures should cool down, but only by a couple of degrees from Monday through Thursday of next week, the weather service said.

Overnight lows will stay in the mid-60s throughout most of next week, the weather service said.

As for those dog days of summer, according to the Weather Channel’s website, the period from July through the second week of August are known as the dog days of summer, a term that has its origins in Ancient Rome.

Romans worshipped Sirius, the Dog Star, which makes its appearance in July and August. They believed the Dog Star was responsible for the increased heat, and so made sacrifices to appease the Dog Star.

“They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year,” according to weather.com. “They were barking up the wrong tree.”

 

 

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