A historic heat wave is scorching the West Coast. Here’s the forecast for 12 cities. (2024)

One of the worst heat waves on record for the western United States is set to peak between this weekend and early next week, bringing a brutal, enduring spell of high temperatures to the Southwest, much of California and parts of the Pacific Northwest.

“Numerous climate sites face high probabilities of breaking daily as well as all-time temperature records,” wrote the National Weather Service office serving Las Vegas. “Oppressive heat is expected to continue through at least midweek.”

On Friday, Palm Springs soared to 124 degrees, the maximum in 102 years of recordkeeping there. Redding also reached 118, tying an all-time record in 131 years of data. While far from the West Coast, but worth a mention nonetheless, Raleigh in North Carolina also set an all-time record of 106 Friday.

Highs are predicted to continue reaching at least 100 to 120 degrees throughout California, except right along the coast and on mountain peaks, increasing the threat of heat-related illnesses and deaths. These temperatures could also test power grids.

The Weather Service’s 0-to-4 HeatRisk scale is forecast to reach the top tier “extreme” Level 4 over large areas of California’s interior as well as southern Nevada.

In California’s south and north, Weather Service offices have heat alerts extending 200 hours into the future, the longest on record.


“Plan on major heat risk impacts, even in the mountains,” the Weather Service office in Reno, Nev., wrote. “Take this one seriously.”

Death Valley, which holds the record for the highest temperature ever measured on the planet, reached 127 degrees Friday and has forecast highs of 128, 130, 128, 130, 129, 129 and 127 between Saturday and next Friday; this stretch could mark its hottest streak on record. It probably won’t reach its world-record high temperature of 134 set in 1913, although there are questions about the reliability of that measurement. In 2020 and 2021, it reached 130 degrees, the highest reliably observed temperature in modern records, which could be surpassed in the coming days.

Here’s a quick look at how hot it could get in 12 cities in the western United States through early next week.

Redding, Calif.: Heat warning and max temperature forecast of 120

It has already been as hot as 118 in this Northern California city, tying the all-time high previously set on three other dates, but none so early in the year. Even the summit of nearby Mount Shasta, which towers over 14,000 feet, is under a heat advisory.


  • Saturday: 120 high
  • Sunday: 115 high / 81 low
  • Monday: 114 high / 81 low

Sacramento: Heat warning and max temperature forecast of 113

Much like Redding, the heat will be extreme and unrelenting, while the scalding sunshine may only be inhibited by wildfire haze. The all-time high here is 115.

  • Saturday: 113 high
  • Sunday: 107 high / 64 low
  • Monday: 103 high / 62 low

San Francisco: Max temperature forecast of 79

The worst of the heat is forecast to spare downtown San Francisco, surrounded by chilly waters from the Pacific Ocean on three of four sides. Highs are predicted to reach only the upper 70s. However, heat advisories and excessive-heat warnings surround the city for temperatures into the triple digits, except to the west where immediate coastal areas may rise to only around 60.

  • Saturday: 79 high
  • Sunday: 74 high / 55 low
  • Monday: 72 high / 55 low

Fresno, Calif.: Heat warning and max temperature forecast of 113

Scorching heat is predicted throughout all of California’s Central Valley. Near the southern end, Fresno sees endless sun and highs from 110 to 115. There’s also an elevated fire threat amid multiple ongoing blazes. A high of 113 would rank among the top 10 hottest on record; 115 is the all-time high.

  • Saturday: 113 high
  • Sunday: 113 high / 79 low
  • Monday: 110 high / 77 low

Santa Barbara, Calif.: Heat warning and max temperature forecast of 87

Its proximity to the coast will offer some relief, but predicted highs are still unusual for a coastal city. Some fog may occasionally moderate the heat slightly.

  • Saturday: 87 high
  • Sunday: 83 high / 63 low
  • Monday: 83 high / 62 low

Los Angeles: Heat advisory and max temperature forecast of 90

The sprawling L.A. metro area will see highs ranging from the 70s at the coast to near 105 inland.

  • Saturday: 90 high
  • Sunday: 86 high / 66 low
  • Monday: 86 high / 65 low

Palm Springs, Calif.: Heat warning and max temperature of 119

Friday’s all-time high of 124 was 6 degrees above predictions. It will continue to be subjected to day after day of highs near 120, with lows around 90.

  • Saturday: 117 high
  • Sunday: 117 high / 89 low
  • Monday: 119 high / 89 low

San Diego: Max temperature of 77

This is one of the few places in Southern California to escape the heat, with highs near 80 the next several days. However, temperatures rapidly rise to the 110s in the Inland Empire and near 120 in the deserts.


  • Saturday: 77 high
  • Sunday: 77 high / 66 low
  • Monday: 76 high / 68 low

Las Vegas: Heat warning and max temperature of 117

Sin City could threaten its all-time high of 117 starting Sunday, with the best odds perhaps on Tuesday, while nighttime lows dip only to the mid-80s to around 90.

  • Saturday: 114 high
  • Sunday: 117 high / 86 low
  • Monday: 115 high / 87 low

Reno, Nev.: Heat warning and max temperature of 103

At about 4,500 feet, nestled in a valley at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada, Reno is likely to experience highs of 100 to 105 until further notice.

  • Saturday: 103 high
  • Sunday: 103 high / 69 low
  • Monday: 103 high / 67 low

Portland, Ore.: Heat warning and max temperature of 103

Heat ramped up Friday and stays intense at least into early next week. “This heat wave will likely be remembered more for its duration than its intensity,” the Weather Service office in Portland wrote. It warned that elevated overnight lows in urban areas will make conditions “particularly dangerous.”

  • Saturday: 99 high
  • Sunday: 101 high / 67 low
  • Monday: 103 high / 68 low

Seattle: Heat advisory and max temperature of 93

Even well to the north in the Pacific Northwest, the heat is on. Several days of 90s will scorch Seattle amid mostly sunny conditions. East of the Cascade Mountains, where heat warnings are in effect, temperatures will eclipse the century mark.

  • Saturday: 90 high
  • Sunday: 92 high / 61 low
  • Monday: 93 high / 63 low
A historic heat wave is scorching the West Coast. Here’s the forecast for 12 cities. (2024)


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