More than turkey will be baking during the annual Thanksgiving holiday in Southern California. Record temperatures were expected throughout the region as a result of a high-pressure ridge that's parked over San Diego.
The heat wave started in earnest yesterday, but today could see record temperatures in some parts of Los Angeles. In fact, the forecast high of 92 degrees downtown would beat the record set for this date — 89 degrees in 1950 — according to the National Weather Service.
"An unseasonably strong ridge of high pressure is being accompanied by weak offshore flow," says NWS meteorologist Robbie Munroe. "The forecast calls for highs 15 to 25 degrees above normal for most areas."
Temperatures today and Thursday could reach the low to mid-90s in inland areas and valleys, he says. Even coastal areas could reach highs near 90 both days, according to the forecast. Lows downtown were expected to reach 60 overnight and 63 early Thanksgiving morning, according to federal forecasters.
Thanksgiving won't be as hot as today, but records could still fall. Long Beach, Burbank and Woodland Hills all have expected highs (89, 91 and 93, respectively) that would topple the record temps in those communities for Thursday's date.
The forecast of a high of 90 for downtown Los Angeles on Thursday would match the hottest Thanksgiving on record. It reached 90 in 1903, Munroe says.
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The weekend will bring cooling, but the weather will still be nice, should East Coast relatives really need to be reminded why folks live here. "The ridge of high pressure looks to weaken, offshore flow will turn onshore, and this will give us temps into the 70s and low 80s for the weekend," Munroe says.
Beachgoers will likely find small surf and wetsuit-worthy water temperatures in the low 60s, he says.
Another round of unseasonably warm weather could strike early next week, with northerly, offshore winds expected to blow and temperatures that could reach into the 80s again, Munroe says. Keep this in mind: The normal high temperature downtown for this time of year is 72.