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Where's the heat? Los Angeles experiencing a cool summer so far

August 4, 2009 |  6:33 am

Where's the heat?

That's what some in Los Angeles are asking as the region posts temperatures that are far from red-hot.

First came the 40 straight days from late May to the end of June when downtown L.A. had below-average temperatures every single day. Then July ended cooler than normal. 

Now August is here, and Southern California’s traditionally hottest month hasn’t exactly started on fire.

Summer just hasn’t been itself. 

“At this point, August looks like it could be more of the same,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge. “Mother Nature definitely cut us a break.” 

There was the heat wave in the middle of July. But overall this summer, weather experts said, the L.A. region is experiencing milder-than-average temperatures.

That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been warm -- just that it’s been, well, just warm. 

Patzert said the problem is that it has also been dry. L.A. has had four below-rainfall years in a row, and that’s an especially bad thing in a region that should see the return of Santa Ana winds in September, adding to  wildfire conditions. 

“Things are pretty crispy out there,” Patzert said Monday.

Don't expect a change anytime soon.

In fact, today may be the nominal “hot” day this week, peaking at about 87 degrees for downtown --  far from a record-breaker. Then things will begin to cool again starting Wednesday, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. 

Temperatures are expected to rise again by the weekend, but only to about 84 degrees.

--Hector Becerra