Southern California had its third consecutive day of record-setting hot weather Sunday, but the National Weather Service said the midwinter heat wave is about over.
Los Angeles was the hottest spot in the 48 contiguous states, with a Civic Center reading of 87 degrees. That temperature also broke the Jan. 12 record of 84 degrees (set in 1928), while San Diego's Lindbergh Field reported a high of 82, which topped the old mark of 80 (also set in 1928).
In Orange County, however, the record for the day, 89 degrees set in 1928, remained unbroken as the mercury only reached 84 in Santa Ana.
Relative humidity in downtown Los Angeles ranged from 33% overnight to just 13% by mid-afternoon as dry Santa Ana winds continued to blow in from the desert, but meteorologists said the air will be both damper and cooler today.
A few high clouds dappled Sunday's skies with little effect except to lend perspective, but the Weather Service said the clouds will lower and thicken overnight--and the winds will stop blowing from the east.
A Pacific storm is expected to bring rain to Central and Northern California today, and, while the Southland should see only the trailing edge of a cold front, there will be less sunshine, more moisture in the air, lower temperatures--and just a 20% chance of showers.
Meanwhile, thousands of Southern Californians enjoyed the last day of the summer-like weekend. Lifeguards reported about 300,000 people at beaches from Zuma to Newport--though only the few with wet suits seemed willing to do more than wade in the 58-degree water.
Mountain and desert resorts reported near-capacity bookings, but the California Highway Patrol said freeway traffic seemed both lighter and slower than usual for this time of year.