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Heat Wave Broiling Southland Not Expected to Let Up Soon

Downtown L.A.'s high is a record 93 degrees. High-pressure systems are blocking cool air.

March 09, 2004|Eric Malnic | Times Staff Writer

Temperature records shattered Monday as Southern California continued to simmer in a heat wave that forecasters said could last through the weekend, and maybe longer.

Readings in the upper 80s and low 90s broke records for the date in downtown Los Angeles, Burbank, Chatsworth, Long Beach, Pasadena, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Torrance, Ojai, Ventura, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Palm Springs and at Los Angeles International Airport, Long Beach Airport and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

The high temperature in Los Angeles was 93, almost 25 degrees above the normal high for the date and surpassing the previous record of 89, set in 1996.

The National Weather Service said it could be almost as hot again today, and although a slight cooling trend is expected by Wednesday, temperatures should remain above normal into early next week, with no rain in sight.

In the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains Monday, skiers basked in temperatures in the 50s on fast-melting snow from last week's wintry storms. In San Diego County, animals sought shade at the Wild Animal Park, where the top reading of 98 was one of the highest in the nation. In San Francisco, a high of 82 broke the 112-year-old record of 78.

The National Weather Service said heat is being generated by a pair of high-pressure weather systems, one parked off the coast of Northern California and the other over Idaho. The high pressure is blocking the onshore flow of cool, moist air from the northern Pacific, and winds circulating clockwise around the highs are warming and drying out as they sweep down coastal canyons to the sea.

The weather began to heat up Sunday, with readings of 87 in downtown Los Angeles and Burbank, 89 in Camarillo, 91 in Fullerton and 92 in Pico Rivera. Santa Ana, with a top reading of 93, was the hottest place in the contiguous 48 states Sunday.

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