Photo courtesy National Weather Service
Photo courtesy National Weather Service

Southland temperatures pushed into the sizzling range Monday, bringing with them fears of wildfires, but a red flag warning signifying a critical threat of brush fires was allowed to expire thanks primarily to diminishing winds.

National Weather Service forecasters warned, however, that fire concerns will remain elevated into tonight in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, Los Angeles County Mountains, San Fernando Valley and Angeles National Forest thanks to “hot and dry conditions with localized breezy conditions.”

The red flag warning expired at 3 p.m., along with a wind advisory that had been in effect across much of the area.

The warning was lifted earlier in the day for the Los Angeles County coastal area, which stretches inland to downtown Los Angeles, thanks to shifting winds.

“Gusty Santa Ana winds with hot temperatures and dry conditions will continue through today,” according to the NWS. “Onshore flow will bring a gradual cooling trend to the area beginning tomorrow and through the end of the week.”

Temperatures, meanwhile, soared throughout the day. were already soaring by midday. In downtown Los Angeles, the temperature at noon was 100 degrees — 5 degrees warmer than the usually much hotter desert city of Palm Springs.

Los Angeles International Airport, Long Beach, Fullerton, Hawthorne, Santa Ana, Woodland Hills and Torrance all hit the triple-digits by noon, according to the NWS, and many other cities hovered in the high 90s.

The heat even affected train service in the area. Metro imposed speed restrictions on some of its light-rail lines to prevent possible damage to tracks or wires. Passengers were advised to expect possible delays on the Metro Gold, Blue and Green lines — but not the more coastal Expo Line.

The doors on the trains were also put on “passenger release mode,” meaning they will not open automatically. Passengers must press a button adjacent to the doors to open them. The move is aimed at preventing doors from opening unnecessarily at stations, allowing hot air into the air-conditioned trains.

Despite the high temperatures, no heat records were set in Los Angeles County, according to the National Weather Service. One record was set in Orange County, where Newport Beach reached 94 degrees, above the record of 86 degrees set in 1978. Records were also set in Camarillo and Oxnard.

Temperatures will decrease Tuesday — by as little as 3 degrees in some communities and by as much as 9 degrees in others — and fall again progressively over the ensuing days. By Sunday, downtown is forecast to have a high of 79, 21 degrees lower than today, and Woodland Hills will top out at 83, or 22 degrees less than today’s high.

In Orange County, where a heat advisory will be in force until 8 tonight, the NWS forecast sunny skies and highs of 91 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 92 in San Clemente; 101 in Anaheim, Mission Viejo and Fullerton; 102 in Yorba Linda; and 103 in Irvine.

A steady cooling trend will begin Tuesday. Along the coast, Newport Beach will go from 91 today to 73 Sunday. Inland, Irvine will go from 103 to 78.

—City News Service

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