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Dry, Hot Likely to Be Replaced by Moist, Cool

January 12, 1986|TED THACKREY JR. | Times Staff Writer

Southern California's winter heat wave set temperature records for the second day in a row Saturday, but the National Weather Service said cooler and darker skies are on the way.

The mercury rose to 87 degrees at Los Angeles Civic Center on Saturday, breaking the high temperature record for the day (83 degrees set in 1983), and the Weather Service said Saturday morning's low of 62 degrees probably will break the record for the day's highest minimum reading (60 degrees set in 1908).

Weather Service meteorologists said it is all because of a strong high-pressure area centered over Nevada and Utah.

That pressure, which is forcing warm desert air westward across the coastline, is also credited with Friday's high temperatures and could keep skies relatively cloud free and cheerful today, according to the forecasters.

But relative humidity, which held a dry span from 28% to 14% Saturday, was expected to move toward 50% as the high-pressure area begins a slow eastward movement--and increasing cloudiness with the chance of occasional showers was expected by Tuesday at the latest.

Meanwhile, just about everybody seemed to enjoy the day.

Lifeguards said about 250,000 people visited beaches from Zuma to Newport on Saturday, though chilly water (58 degrees at Hermosa Beach, 61 at Long Beach) kept most of them on the sand.

"The only exceptions," said Los Angeles County Lifeguard Lt. Tom Hargett, "were the surfers with wet suits, and the very few who make it a point to acclimate themselves to the cooler winter waters.

"The rest jogged in sweat suits or strolled, except for a few sunbathers," Hargett said.

Surf was running three to five feet in most places; no rescues were reported.

Light morning breezes turning east to northeast at 10 to 12 knots made the day pleasant for warmly dressed weekend boat operators, but the Coast Guard and lifeguards agreed that no one seemed to get into enough trouble to require assistance.

Park authorities reported light to medium crowds of hikers, strollers and afternoon picnickers, while the California Highway Patrol reported freeway traffic heavier than usual for a winter weekend--but moving briskly.

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