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Heat wave hits Southern California

March 31, 2011 |  1:19 pm

Weather
Soaring temperatures hit Southern California on Thursday, providing a burst of summer-like heat following weeks of chilly and rainy weather.

But forecasters said the near-record temperatures were expected to cool off by the weekend.

In downtown Los Angeles, the thermometer was expected to hit 90 degrees, according to Bill Hoffer, a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

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High temperatures were expected to be near the 80s at the beaches, the upper 80s inland and the mid-80s to lower 90s in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, according to forecasters.

On Friday and Saturday, temperatures in downtown Los Angeles are expected to drop to the 70s, rising only to the high 60s on Sunday.

"There will be a general cool-down period," Hoffer said.

During the hot spell, Hoffer advised, residents should to go to malls to cool off, wear loose and light-covered clothing, cover their heads, and "slack off on any sports or movement."

City and county fire officials said there had been no reports of heat-related incidents.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

Photos: Top, temperatures soared on Thursday into the 80s in many parts of Southern California. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times). Below, beachgoers in Orange County. (Tony Barboza / Los Angeles Times)

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