It seemed like August in November on Saturday, as soaring temperatures drove Orange County residents from their autumn perches to beaches and parks.
But the heat wave, fed by warm desert winds, was expected to diminish today.
The mercury hit 95 degrees in Santa Ana at mid-afternoon Saturday, compared to a mild 71-degree high exactly a year ago. But Saturday's high was still shy of the city's record of 100 degrees for the date, set in 1956.
Temperatures reached 94 degrees in Anaheim and 91 in San Juan Capistrano.
Cooler air bathed the coast, with Newport Beach recording an 82-degree high. In downtown Los Angeles, the high of 94 degrees tied a record set 40 years ago.
The National Weather Service blamed the unseasonable heat on a strong high-pressure system in eastern Utah that is pushing warm air into Southern California.
But high temperatures today are expected to be three to five degrees lower than Saturday, ranging from the low 80s along the coast to the low 90s inland, said Mark Mulholland, meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts to The Times.
Clear skies are expected to persist today and Monday, when highs are expected to range from the upper 70s at the coast to the mid-80s inland.
"It will still be above normal, but a little more bearable than it's been," Mulholland said.