113 degrees in downtown? L.A. broils with triple-digit temperatures [Updated]
The heat wave that has gripped Southern California reached a high point Monday afternoon, with triple-digit temperatures from the coast all the way inland.
As of noon, Weather.com reported that downtown L.A. was broiling at 109 degrees; Santa Monica hit 106, West Hollywood was at 111 and Long Beach was at 107. [Updated: As of 12:50 p.m.: downtown L.A. had hit 113 degrees, a record high. Stuart Seto, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, said that's the hottest temperature recorded at the downtown station since record-keeping began in 1877.
Shortly after reaching the record, the temperature dipped back to 111, and then climbed back to 112. Then at 1 p.m., the thermometer stopped working.
The weather service office in Oxnard rushed an electronics technician 60 miles southeast to the USC campus to repair the thermometer, which is actually a highly sensitive wire connected to electronic equipment. Because of the snafu, officials said it's possible Monday's temperature actually was hotter than 113 — but they might never know.]
The National Weather Service warned of extreme heat and red-flag fire dangers Monday. A small fire broke out in Ladera Heights but was quickly put out. Another small brush fire was contained Sunday night in South Pasadena.
On the energy front, California consumers are expected to use more than 45,000 megawatts by peak afternoon hours, said Gregg Fishman, a spokesman for Cal-ISO, which coordinates power for 85% of the state's grid.
Though the expected energy consumption is high for this time of year, increased usage is not expected to cause any serious problems, Fishman said. Still, Cal-ISO is recommending residents avoid using heavy appliances in the afternoon.
And don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room, Fishman said.
"Given the situation as we know it right now, we should be fine,'' he said. "But grid conditions are dynamic, and things can change."
-- Kimi Yoshino and Catherine Saillant
[Updated at 12:34 p.m.: HOW ARE YOU COPING WITH THE HEAT? Share your photographs from the heat wave with L.A. Now. We'll post reader submissions. Tell us your hot weather tales below.]