We wouldn't blame you for thinking that maybe El Niño has abandoned us.

Record high temperatures punctuated an unusual February heat wave this week, and cooling but still above-normal temps were expected through the beginning of next week, forecasters say.

El Niño's still out there, simmering the waters of the equatorial Pacific and ready to pounce. Experts say he could still bring record rain.

The next opportunity is Wednesday, when some forecasters are calling for showers.

“People waiting for the next chance of rain in Southern California will have to wait until at least the end of next week before the dome of high pressure breaks down, allowing rain to return to the region,” says private forecaster AccuWeather.

The National Weather Service says high pressure, which has held storms at bay, will not be as strong, making it easier for the next front to move in.

“It is beginning to look like this is is a possibility,” the NWS says in a statement. “There is uncertainty in how fast and deep the next system goes … or how well it connects with the best moisture stream. But there is a legitimate chance of precipitation in the Southland in the Wednesday/Thursday time frame next week.”

Hear that, people? 

Until then, we're looking at “near record” temps in the 80s for the L.A. Basin today. Keep your umbrellas handy — you know, to block the sun.

And keep your fingers crossed.

“It might be a slight chance of precipitation,” says the NWS, “but it is a glimmer of hope for now.”

LA Weekly