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Highs hit 90 as heat wave continues to grip Southern California

January 15, 2014|By Robert J. Lopez

A winter heat wave continued across Southern California on Wednesday, setting or tying record temperatures for the day and creating extreme fire conditions across parched wildland areas.

Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Fullerton and Camp Pendleton each topped out at 90 degrees, which were the highest temperatures in the nation, according to the National Weather Service.

Downtown Los Angeles hit 85, tying a daily record set in 2009. Bob Hope Airport in Burbank recorded a high of 86 degrees, breaking by one degree a record for the day set in 1976.

Santa Barbara Airport also broke a daily record, topping out at 82 degrees. The previous record of 81 degrees was set in 1991, the Weather Service said.

"It looks to be another warm one tomorrow," said Curt Kaplan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to be in the mid-80s in inland valley areas. Coastal areas will be in the upper 70s, the Weather Service said.

Strong Santa Ana winds, coupled with the warm weather and low relative humidity, prompted the Weather Service to extend red flag fire warnings through Friday. 

Wind gusts could hit 40 to 50 mph in mountain areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Relative humidity was expected to be as low as 5% to 10% during the daytime, according to the Weather Service.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it has assigned additional crews and equipment to wildland areas to quickly attack any blazes that break out.

The Weather Service said the unseasonably warm weather and Santa Ana winds were being caused by high pressure near the surface of the Great Basin coupled with high pressure aloft just west of Southern California, blocking storm systems from reaching the region.

"The high is so strong that nothing can really break it," Kaplan said. Weather models are predicting dry weather through January, he said.  

 

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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