Heatwave History Is Being Made as L.A. Bakes Under an October Sun

Several high temperature records fell as devil winds breathed on Southern California and produced ungodly heat this week. History was made.

Monday's high temperature of 102 for downtown Los Angeles was a supercharged record breaker. "It's the hottest temperature recorded in downtown L.A. this late in the calendar year," says National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard.

Records go back to 1877. However, Sirard said that today's high could top the DTLA landmark temperature. Official readings for downtown are measured at USC.

Downtown's record high on Monday bested the previous record of 98 degrees, which was set in 1965. LAX hit a record of 101, which beat 97 in '65, and Long Beach Airport reached a stratospheric 105, topping 98 in '65, according to the National Weather Service.

The late-October heatwave was being generated by a massive high-pressure system that extends from Baja California to Oregon. Not only is it producing rare triple-digit temperatures along the coast as offshore winds push cool ocean air back but it's also creating heat well into the evening hours.

Low temperatures Monday morning included 83 degrees for the Getty Center in the Sepulveda Pass, 80 in Van Nuys and 78 in Woodland Hills, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe. Much the same — or worse — was expected today. "It could be hotter today," Munroe says.

Today's heat was expected to be accompanied by stronger Santa Ana winds, with gusts of 45 to 60 miles per hour expected in mountain passes and along the Los Angeles County-Ventura County border, Munroe said. A red-flag fire danger warning was in effect through Wednesday.

Another high of 102 was forecast for downtown today, with the low expected to dip to 72. An excessive heat warning was in effect through the end of today, at least, Munroe said. The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a red-flag alert for Tuesday. The alert includes parking restrictions for certain mountainous and hilly areas.

Los Angeles County also was under a heat alert through today. "The Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone that precautions should be taken, especially by individuals who participate in outdoor activities, older adults, caretakers of infants and children, and those sensitive to the heat," according to a county statement.

"This alert may be extended if weather conditions do not improve."

Cooling was forecast for Wednesday, but don't expect much of it. "Widespread 80s and 90s" were forecast for the L.A. Basin tomorrow, according to a National Weather Service forecast discussion.

Weaker offshore flow would continue to cool things down the rest of the week, forecasters say, but temperatures were expected to remain warm through the big party weekend before Halloween. "Temperatures should stay above normal," Munroe says.

Heatwave History Is Being Made as L.A. Bakes Under an October Sun
NWS

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