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Southern California scorched with near-record heat [Updated]

August 24, 2010 |  4:01 pm

A heat wave bore down on Southern California on Tuesday afternoon, with near-record temperatures in the triple digits felt throughout inland and valley areas.

Health officials reminded those sensitive to the heat to take precautions such as cracking windows and drinking plenty of water, warning that the heat could rise to life-threatening levels.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, temperatures soared above 105 degrees in parts of the San Fernando and Antelope valleys. Downtown Los Angeles sweltered at 94 degrees, approaching its record temperature of 96, set in 1931.

The slight rise in humidity means the air may feel even hotter than it is.

An excessive heat warning is in effect through 8 p.m. Wednesday, and forecasters say the humidity combined with triple-digit temperatures will cause "dangerously high heat index readings" in valley and mountain areas through at least Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters say the heat wave was brought on by the arrival of a high-pressure system that had been kept at bay for most of the summer.


Another scorching day, with highs around 105 in the valleys and 100 in lower mountain areas is forecast for Wednesday followed by a cool-down Thursday. Normal temperatures should return by Friday.

A large south swell is also bringing big surf and dangerous rip currents to Southern California beaches, with waves peaking at up to 10 feet Wednesday afternoon. A high surf advisory is in effect for the coast from 5 p.m. Tuesday through 11 p.m. Wednesday. [Updated at 6 p.m.: For beach safety tips, check out our interactive graphic.]





Los Angeles County health officials issued a heat advisory telling residents of the Los Angeles Basin, especially those who live in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, Pomona and Lancaster, to take precautions against dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Their tips for beating the heat:

  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often (do not wait until you are thirsty), and avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Offer help to those in your neighborhood with limited access to air conditioning and transportation, such as seniors or those who are ill. Check on them frequently or take them to a location with air conditioning.
  • During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you don’t have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Avoid unnecessary exertion, such as vigorous exercise during peak sun hours, if you are outside or in a non-air-conditioned building.
  • Stay out of the sun whenever possible. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect yourself from sun damage.

-- Tony Barboza