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At 113 degrees, downtown L.A. hits all-time record high [Updated]

It's not just you. Monday turned out to be the hottest day ever recorded -- at least in downtown L.A.

At 12:15 p.m., the weather station at USC hit the 113-degree mark, breaking the old all-time high of 112 set on June 26, 1990.

It makes Monday the hottest day ever since records in downtown L.A. started being kept in 1877, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.

Seto said the record was impressive, "especially after such a cool summer."

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.

As of noon, Weather.com reported that Santa Monica had hit 106, West Hollywood was at 111, and Long Beach was at 107. 

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 were 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 was high for this time of year, increased usage was not expected to cause any serious problems, Fishman said. Still, Cal-ISO is recommending residents avoid using large 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."

[Updated at 2:05 p.m.: The extreme heat was being felt across the region.

The Los Angeles Unified School District canceled all outdoor activities for Monday because of excessive heat. With temperatures well past 100 degrees in the West San Fernando Valley, football coaches are switching practices to the gym or using the time for video sessions.

At a recycling center across the street from the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, Kenneth Kaaumoana, 41, was among those standing in line, hoping to collect a few bucks for plastic and glass.

Kaaumoana said he had just moved to the area from Kauai, where the island’s trade winds usually make the hottest days bearable.

"Yeah, it was really hot in there," he said of wading into trash bins in search of recyclables. "It’s not a really a smart thing to do, I guess, but you gotta do what you gotta do."

Bare-chested and wearing board shorts, Kaaumoana said he hoped to make $4 or $5, enough for bus fare to Laguna Beach, where it would be cooler and a possible job laying floors awaited.

Hot weather or not, he said he planned to grab a free bowl of soup at the kitchen before heading to Laguna. "Times are tough," he said.

Downtown, Dennis King, a 50-year-old L.A. native, was trying to keep things in perspective. "For autumn here in L.A., it’s definitely hot, but this will pass. It’s really not like this at this time of year. Californians will complain if there’s a cloud in the sky."

In Venice, Neal Woods said he took a break from his job as a Hollywood prop man and went surfing Monday afternoon.

"It was nice day to spend in the water," Woods said as he sat on Venice Pier after a 90-minute session riding the waves.

The water temperature was in the low 60s, but Woods said he was able to take advantage of the warm air and not wear a wetsuit. Asked whether he was supposed to be working, he said: "I didn't call in sick. I'm just not working. ]

-- Catherine Saillant, Nathan Jackson, Eric Sondheimer, Robert J. Lopez, Bob Pool and Mike Anton

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Share your photographs from the heat wave with L.A. Now. We'll post reader submissions. Tell us your hot weather tales below.

Photos: Hottest day in L.A. ever … since 1877, anyway

Comments () | Archives (37)

If global warming were real we'd be in REAL trouble! Ask W, ask BP, ask Exxon, it's ALL a MYTH! Then go to Wisconsin with record flooding or even L.A. where the temperature is at a record high! MYTH!

This Summer has been cool in Ventura, CA, but my gosh it's hot today =(

Being from Phoenix.........113f is a typical July day. When your prepared at work, home and auto with efficient A/C's, this high a heat can be dealt with, otherwise it can be deadly.

Good luck fighting for the shady parking spots....

See, I knew it was going to be hot when I went out at 5 AM to get the clothing I'd forgotten to bring in last night, and found that the night was so hot that the dew, if any, had already evaporated. Even in The Valley, it's not usually as hot as it's been during this past week or so.

This after a rather cool summer. My head, it asplode.

Man its Hot, I'd rather be in Bishop Longs underpants then here

It's hotter in S. California than it is in Las Vegas or Phoenix. This year, we've broken some cold temperature records and now hot weather records.

Could someone who seems knowledgeable explain what's going on?

If solar activity is at a minimum, what effect, if any, does that have? We're supposed to have a La Nina gradually building up. But, that usually means somewhat cooler weather doesn't it?

Or is this usual late summer heat wave basically like those that have occurred in the past although this one is just a bit hotter?

What is a wersuit?

""It was nice day to spend in the water," said Woods, as he sat on the Venice Pier aftwe A 90 minute session in ther riding fun waves. Water tenmperarture was in the low 60s but Woods was able to take of the warm air and not wear a wersuit."

Once again I have to wonder who, if anyone, is copyediting these stories.

Gosh its hot here too.

This is Santa Ana (misnomer) season and we always have this type weather this time of year.

That picture is making me hotter

Forget the heat, who's that girl doing gymnastics in the water fountain?

An historic day for the National Weather Service's downtown Los Angeles reporting station. A remarkable and noteworthy record.

@John, L.A is just a city on earth. It is NOT the earth. Record heat in L.A does not mean record heat on Earth. We may think we are the center of the universe but we are far less significant than we wish. The record only goes 133 years, which is nothing compared to the age of the Earth. L.A could had far high temp than this 113 before 1877. There is nothing to conclude here other than it is hot today.

Can't wait to go back to New Jersey this week. I can't stand the heat in the San Fernando Valley!
Jersey Shore here I come!

I live in the Bay Area and I thought it was hot up here! When San Francisco is in the high 80s, I guess the rest of the state fries!

In Whittier, around 1:30pm it was 116 degrees! That was the highest I have seen it! this whole day.

Here's something cool to think about: LA is normally one of the cooler cities in July - 84 daytime, 63 at night - that's cooler than portions of Maine. This summer LA's high was usually 10 degrees lower than Phoenix's low.

So, stop complaining and put on your parka.

This is nothing, Memphis reached 120 in the summer, with the humidity in full effect 20 people died in Memphis this year... 113, dry. Bearable.

I seem to recall the summer of 2006 as being this hot. There was one particular period in late July or August where the temperture got up to 118 in Woodland Hills. It did not stay that way for more than a week though.

vrytix, if you want to know what's going on, follow the mountains of research on climate change. If you want to live in a fantasy world, believe W, believe his lackeys and believe big oil and coal. They'll NEVER distort the truth.

....................and WE had a whopping 72 degree HIGH in Dallas today !!!

I remember some such very HOT days back in the early 1960s. We were in Jr. High, waiting to hear an already morning high in degrees on the radio,, when they would let school out for the day. Off to the beach! Still HOT...and oh so smoggy! I've been away from SoCal since 1973, only visiting once a year or so since. But September will always remain in my memories as some of the hottest of times. It must feel so much more suffocating because of all the asphalt, pavement and buildings surrounding....and the humanity, oh the humanity.

Is it a record? The weather station was moved from a downtown location to USC a few years ago.

A few years ago, our rainfall for the year just missed being a record because of the change in weather station locations. I'd like to know what the temperature was at the old location.

driving by a sorority - hot babes?

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