California breaks heat record since measurements began in 1895

January-August were warmest first 8 months of the year in California ever

The first eight months of 2014 were the warmest on average in California’s history since record-keeping began in 1895, federal scientists announced this week.

The average temperature was 62.6 degrees in California over the time period, coming in at 1.1 degrees hotter than the previous high and more than 4 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.

Meanwhile, the state continues to suffer through one of its worst droughts ever and a record-breaking heat wave is forecast for the weekend.

Temperatures across Los Angeles are expected to top out at 100 degrees through Monday.

“When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke," Jeffery Gunzenhauser, L.A. County's interim health officer, said in a statement. 

Others who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days, he added.

County health officials have declared a heat alert for the Los Angeles Basin and the San Gabriel, San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Even at the beaches, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s over the weekend, forecasters said.

“Rest before you’re tired, eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty,” said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. “People overestimate their abilities and underestimate the danger of the heat.” 

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