Los Angeles has its hottest day on record
By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Southern California's famed moderate, Mediterranean-style climate felt more like the Sahara on Monday as temperatures hit 113 degrees downtown, breaking records and sending residents to the beaches.
"It's crazy," said Andrew Hadzopoulous, 27, of Long Beach, who fled his un-air-conditioned apartment with his new puppy, Charlie, and cooled off at the city beach.
"We had to get out of the house — it was 101 (degrees). We're on the second story, and it was stifling," he said.
Sara Van Roekel, 32, was spending a long weekend in the area to get away from the heat at her home in Temecula, an inland city where triple-digit temperatures are more common. "I don't even feel it because I'm in the water," she said as she stepped out of the surf at Long Beach.
Los Angeles opened cooling centers, and the city's Department of Water and Power advised customers to conserve electricity.
More than 30,000 customers of Southern California Edison were without power Monday evening, spokeswoman Mashi Nyssen said. Some of the cities affected include Santa Monica, Compton, Whittier and West Hollywood in Los Angeles County.
Temperatures downtown hit 113 briefly just after noon, breaking the former all-time record of 112 degrees set on June 26, 1990, the National Weather Service said.
While the heat was unusually severe, warm weather is common in the fall in Southern California. Wind patterns shift and bring dry desert air, known as Santa Ana winds, into coastal regions, not only making things uncomfortably warm but producing tinder-box conditions that make autumn the season for wildfires.
"This is the time of year for heat in Southern California," said Mark Ressler at The Weather Channel. A high pressure system blocked cool air from the Pacific; ocean breezes were expected to resume midweek, he said.