Southern California was warm, humid and generally comfortable Thursday, and the National Weather Service said things should stay that way--with a few minor improvements--right through the weekend.
A dome of high pressure, centered over Texas and covering the entire Southwest at high altitude, can be expected to maintain a regular and dry southwestern flow of air into the area for the next few days, meteorologists said.
The layer of marine air that haunts the lower altitudes along the coast will keep temperatures bearable and the humidity high enough to prevent your lips from cracking.
The high temperature in Santa Ana Thursday was 78 degrees, with slightly warmer temperatures inland. El Toro was 81, while Newport Beach was cooler at 74.
The forecast calls for the mercury to climb only a few degrees as the new week begins, with fog and low clouds extending as much as 10 miles inland during the night and morning.
Beachgoers can expect the low clouds and patchy fog to burn away before mid-morning, forecasters said.
Surf was expected to run 3 to 4 feet at most beaches (perhaps a foot or two higher at those with a more southern exposure) on a 12-second interval.
Newport Beach reported 3- to 4-foot waves Thursday, with occasional sets of five feet. The afternoon sea breeze should reach up to 16 m.p.h., forecasters said. Ocean temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60s.
Sailors who stay close to shore should find themselves dealing with southwest-to-west winds at 10 to 15 knots, with southwest swells at three feet from Point Conception to the Mexican border. Boaters who venture 60 miles out or more should be prepared for five-foot combined seas and west-to-northwest winds gusting above 12 knots at times.
In the mountains, forecasters are calling for fair weather and temperatures from the mid-40s overnight to the upper 80s during the afternoons at resort levels in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel ranges. The outlook for the Sierra is similar, though it should be a few degrees cooler in the more northern regions.
Desert temperatures in the afternoons were expected to climb above 100 degrees, with overnight lows dipping into the 50s. In the low desert, afternoon highs were expected to hit a sizzling 117 degrees and above. Southwest winds should pack gusts up to 25 m.p.h.
Arizona's weekend was shaping up to be hot and dry, with an increase in clouds and humidity, especially in the mountains, and some moderation of temperatures in the southeast. A few isolated thunderstorms were predicted for the central mountains and southeast, with mountain temperatures headed for the upper-80s and the deserts expected to hit 115 or above.
The forecast for Las Vegas called for sunny skies and temperatures reaching 115 degrees, before plunging back to the 70s overnight. The National Weather Service said anyone planning a trip to Ensenada, Mexico, should dress for mostly sunny days and starry nights, with temperatures from the low-60s to high-70s. There's also a possibility for dense morning fog in some areas.
If you're going to San Francisco, remember to take a sweater. Forecasters are predicting fog along the coast and patchy low clouds inland through the morning, turning sunny by afternoon. Temperatures were expected to run from the mid-50s to the low-70s.