COOLING OFF AT A HOT SPOT
Temperatures are expected to ease beginning Wednesday.
In Santa Monica, thousands escaped the triple-digit temperatures that sizzled throughout the Southland on Sunday. The heat is forecast to continue through Tuesday. “After a slow summer, we are excited to have a lot of people on the beach,” said Danny Douglas, an L.A. County lifeguard.
Hot, dry weather in the Southland will continue to raise red-flag warnings for elevated fire danger through Monday evening, the National Weather Service reported. Scorching temperatures will continue through Tuesday before patchy morning coastal fog and clouds return Wednesday.
Thermometers hit 103 degrees in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, a weather service spokesman said. Inland gauges in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys reached 105, sending a human wave to seek relief at Southland beaches.
Santa Monica’s popular beachwas a sea of humanity and colorful umbrellas. The roads leading to the coast, along with shoreline parking lots, were jammed.
L.A. County lifeguards estimated about 350,000 people hit the beach along a stretch of Santa Monica Bay from Marina del Rey to Topanga State Beach.
“After a slow summer, we are excited to have a lot of people on the beach,” said lifeguard Capt. Danny Douglas. Fellow lifeguards, he said, had tallied only 14 days of all-day sunshine at county beaches during an unusually overcast, foggy summer.
Hot, sunny days are common in September, said Bill Hoffer of the National Weather Service. “We get these kinds of high temperatures every year.” This one was prompted by a strong high-pressure system hovering over the state, bringing a heat wave that stretched from San Diego to San Francisco.
The weather service said temperatures may climb a bit higher Monday in some places, ranging between 100 and 110 in inland areas with low levels of humidity. Those conditions, along with anticipated northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts to 35 mph, have prompted redflag warnings for the mountains and foothills of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through 9 p.m. Monday.
Firefighters moved engines and other equipment into strategic locations closer to areas with the highest hazard, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A small blaze ignited by a car fire in the Hollywood Hills was quickly extinguished, he said.
“When it comes to wildfire, wind is king,” Humphrey said. “We have thankfully been spared so far. We have begun our long, steady march toward the peak of fire season.”