The Southland’s latest heat wave peaked Friday, generating record-breaking triple-digit temperatures in several communities, while high surf slammed the coast, producing perilous rip currents expected to last through much of the weekend.
National Weather Service forecasters warned that the weather has increased the risk of heat-related illnesses for residents of the region, especially the homeless, senior citizens, infants and people working or playing outdoors. Hot and dry conditions also created an “elevated fire danger,” according to the NWS.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared a heat alert for the Los Angeles basin, Pomona and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The alert is expected to remain in effect through at least tomorrow, although it could be extended if the hot weather persists.
New temperature records were recorded throughout Southern California, according to the weather service.
Camarillo Airport reached 108 degrees, surpassing the record of 96 degrees set for this day in 1976, and setting the bar as the highest temperatures ever recorded there since recordings started since 1948. The old record was set at 103 degrees on Sept. 24, 1978.
Burbank Airport recorded 104 degrees, replacing the record of 101 degrees for this day in 1976.
Chula Vista reached 98 degrees, topping the previous record of 97 degrees for the same day in 1994.
El Cajon temperatures were as high as 103 degrees, replacing a record of 98 degrees for this day in 1991.
Escondido heated up to 102 degrees, breaking the previous record of 100 degrees set for the day in 1909.
Long Beach Airport reported temperatures at 105 degrees, breaking a record of 102 for this day in 1988.
Riverside recorded a high of 104 degrees, topping the previous record of 103 degrees for the same day in 1991.
Sandberg reached 88 degrees, surpassing a record of 97 degrees for this day in 1996.
In Santa Ana, temperatures were a scorching 106, breaking a record of 102 set for the day in 1988.
Santa Barbara Airport reported a high of 96 degrees, topping the prior high of 95 degrees for the day in 1994.
An NWS forecast indicated temperatures will drop Saturday — generally three to five degrees — and a few more degrees Sunday. Downtown Los Angeles is expected to revert to the 80s by Tuesday, then continue cooling down. Woodland Hills also is expected to return to the 90s Sunday and to the 80s Thursday.
The NWS issued a heat advisory throughout Orange County on Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. As of Thursday, it had been issued only for inland areas but now includes Orange County beach communities as well.
Also issued for Orange County was a beach hazard statement, which is less serious than a high surf advisory. It will be in force from late tonight through Saturday evening.
Forecasters have urged residents to protect themselves and others from the high heat. The weather service’s recommendations included drinking plenty of water, wearing light and light-colored clothing, providing shade to livestock and pets, checking on elderly friends and neighbors, and “never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle, even for a short time.”
Temperature highs on Thursday, when the heat wave began in earnest as a result of high pressure anchored over the southwestern United States, turned out to be higher than had been forecast. Burbank was the hottest spot in Los Angeles County — a distinction generally claimed by Woodland Hills — with the high at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport reaching 102 to tie the Burbank record set on Oct. 8 1996.
Forecasters said the heat wave will begin to retreat Saturday, followed by a drop of five to 10 degrees Sunday.
Along the coast, meanwhile, “a moderately long-period swell will bring dangerous rip currents and increased wave activity at area beaches this weekend,” an NWS statement said.
“If you get caught in a rip current, try to conserve your energy and not swim against the current. Try to swim parallel to shore to get out of the current,” it said.
— City News Service