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Friday could be hottest day of the year so far in Los Angeles

March 1, 2013 |  8:43 am

Weather
The first day of March could also be the hottest day of the year: Meteorologists have predicted a high of 86 degrees in Anaheim and downtown Los Angeles on Friday. 

“Hard to believe it’s winter still,” said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. 

Temperatures wouldn't even need to hit 86 degrees to eclipse this year's hottest day: On Feb. 16, temperatures hit an unseasonable 82 degrees. 

The hottest March 1 on record was 1967, when the temperature hit 88 degrees, Kittell said.

Although temperatures can sometimes be warmer in the San Fernando Valley, the National Weather Service said areas north of the 101 Freeway will see similar weather to downtown Los Angeles on Friday. The high in Woodland Hills is expected to be 84.

The unexpected warm weather, Kittell said, is caused by the jetstream: narrow currents of air that move in fast-moving waves about 20,000 feet above the Earth's surface. Ridge-like waves in the jetstream cause an increase in air pressure and an increase in temperature.

The second cause is air flowing west from the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah, Kittell said. Air warms up as it moves from high to low altitudes. The Great Basin's elevation is more than 5,000 feet, he said; the ocean has an elevation of 0 feet. 

Relief, of sorts, will come this weekend. The high on Saturday should be 80 degrees.

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 -- Laura J. Nelson (twitter.com/laura_nelson)

Photo: A standup paddleboarder is reflected in the calm waters of Dana Point Harbor early Friday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times


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