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Heat Wave Breaks Records in the Southland

Yorba Linda ties its highest temperature for the date, while the mercury hits 99 in San Juan Canyon. Relief is expected Wednesday.

October 21, 2003|Michael Krikorian and David Haldane | Times Staff Writers

Fall is here, but apparently no one has told the sun to chill out.

It was hot and sunny throughout Southern California on Monday, with some areas breaking heat records. The warm weather is expected to continue today and then start to cool slightly beginning Wednesday.

Record temperatures for Oct. 20 were set in Chatsworth (102), Burbank (98), Lancaster (95), Mt. Wilson (86), Pierce College in Woodland Hills (104), and Simi Valley (104). .

Yorba Linda tied its record for the date of 97 degrees, previously set in 1965 and 1997. Elsewhere in Orange County, temperatures ranged from 82 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach to 99 in San Juan Canyon.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 23, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Heat -- An article in Tuesday's California section incorrectly said the record high temperature for Oct. 20 in downtown Los Angeles was 99, set in 1940. The record for Oct. 20 is 96, set in 1964.

Back in L.A. County, Pasadena's high of 98 fell just short of the city's 1939 record for the day of 99. Other hot spots included Van Nuys with 101, Riverside with 102, Anaheim with 97 and perennial burner Thermal with 107.

The high in downtown Los Angeles was 91, well below the record of 99 set in 1940, but warm enough for locals to dream about taking off for the coast.

"I went to the dedication this morning for the Disney Hall and was sitting in the bleachers just thinking about getting back into an air-conditioned building," said Danuta Siemak, who works for the Center Theatre Group based at the Music Center. "The reflection from the Disney Hall made it even hotter."

But downtown L.A. was relatively pleasant compared to Siemak's home near Rosemead in the San Gabriel Valley, where the mercury hit 101.

Those who made it to the coast discovered that they weren't alone trying to escape the inland heat. An estimated 10,000 people took to the sands at Huntington Beach on Monday, about twice the usual number on a weekday in October.

"It's great out there," lifeguard Eric Dieterman said, adding that no one had to be rescued. "It's really nice -- this is an excellent job."

Relief from the scorching temperatures is in sight. "What we had was a combination of high pressure and an offshore breeze that made it so warm inland," said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service in Oxnard. "It should start to cool down by 5 degrees or more starting Wednesday."

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