Record highs were set in Long Beach and the mountain hamlet of Sandberg Wednesday as the Southland bathed in unseasonably warm weather.
With an offshore airflow helping to even out the temperatures from the coast to the valleys, Long Beach topped out at 87 degrees, tying the record set on Nov. 26, 1959.
In the northern Los Angeles County mountain hamlet of Sandberg, which is 4,163 feet above sea level, the high was 73 degrees, breaking the old record for the date set in 1953.
National Weather Service forecasters predict the warm, dry weather will continue through Saturday, when high pressure is expected to give way a low- pressure system that should produce measurable rain on Monday, with much-needed rainfall continuing on and off through Wednesday morning.
Since July 1, less than a half-inch of rain has fallen in downtown, well behind the norm of 1.78 inches for this time of year.
Metro area overnight lows will dip into the 50s, but Thanksgiving Day temperatures should warm up quickly under sunny, clear skies. Highs are forecast to range from about 80 degrees at the beach to about 90 degrees in the valleys and inland areas.
NWS forecasters credit back-to-back high-pressure systems for the warm spell. Clockwise winds rotating around the high produce winds out of the north and northeast that cause compressional heating. Metro area temperatures rise as winds out of the high desert sweep over the mountains and fall into the Los Angeles Basin.
Friday should be nearly as warm as Thursday, but low clouds and fog are predicted to return Saturday, when highs are predicted to top out in the 60s and 70s.
By Sunday evening, increasing cloud cover will produce a 20 percent chance of rain. Overcast conditions are expected Monday, with the chance of rain increasing to 50 percent by Monday evening.