Southland sweats under blazing heat wave

LOS ANGELES Though the winds have shifted onshore, a large high-pressure system remains over the region, and forecasters predict above-normal temperatures for much of the coming week.

"By next weekend. we will be back into our May Gray and June Gloom pattern," National Weather Service Meteorologist Jaime Meier said.

The normal high in downtown Los Angeles for this time of year is in the mid 70s.

Today's hot spot may be the Antelope Valley, where temperatures are forecast to top out around 105 degrees. Afternoon winds out of the west are forecast to pick up to about 25 mph, according to the NWS.

Some areas in the foothills of San Gabriel Mountains may break 100 degrees.

High-temperature records fell for a second day in a row Saturday, with Woodland Hills leading the way. The San Fernando Valley hot spot topped out 102 degrees, beating the old record of 101 degrees set in 1970, according to the NWS. Friday's high in Woodland Hills was 101 degrees, too.

Downtown Los Angeles hit 96 degrees, tying the record set back in 1892.

Long Beach peaked at 93 degrees, barely besting the record of 92 degrees set in 1978.

Westwood had a high of 92 degrees, beating the record of 90 set in 1967.

The mercury at Los Angeles International Airport hit 89 degrees, eclipsing the old record of 88 degrees set in 1971.

In Orange County, Yorba Linda and Fullerton Airport reported highs of 97 degrees, both beating records of 95 set in 1970.

Santa Ana also reached 97 degrees, breaking the record of 92 set in 1967.

In wilderness areas, firefighters are urging people to extreme caution. Though no formal wildfire warnings have been issued, the high heat makes for the likelihood of a fast-spreading fire.

Public health experts advise against exercising in the heat of the day. Wear loose, light fitting clothing, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol when in the heat.

"When temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's public health director.

"Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed vehicles, even with the windows cracked, since temperatures can quickly rise to life-threatening levels," he said.


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