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Record heat in L.A. [UPDATED]

April 19, 2009 |  1:58 pm


Updated 3:32 p.m.:  It’s official. The temperature in downtown Los Angeles has hit 94 degrees -- two degrees hotter than the previous high, set in 1914 -- to make today the hottest April 19 on record. 

Records also have been broken in 96-degree Long Beach (previous high: 88 degrees in 1986) and 90 degrees at UCLA (previous high: 84 degrees in 1999), said National Weather Service spokesman Stuart Seto.

Seto said that temperatures may continue to rise and that additional heat records are expected to be broken tomorrow.

Original post: Beachgoers are enjoying 80-degree temperatures today, courtesy of unusually late Santa Ana winds that have blown into Southern California from Nevada.

"Typically, we get wind coming off the ocean and that’s what keeps us so mild," meteorologist David Gomberg of the National Weather Service said. "The reason everything’s so dry right now is because the winds are coming from the desert air mass, meaning that it originates over land."

The Santa Ana winds are most often associated with the brushfires of the fall and winter months, so their current appearance is unusual, Gomberg said. No heat records have been broken so far, although temperatures are expected to peak Monday, when the warmer inland valleys may reach 100 degrees.

Gomberg advised those planning to soak up the sun to stay hydrated and abstain from vigorous outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: Devin Garcia finds relief from high temperatures in the fountain at Fullerton Downtown Plaza. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times