This is it — the worst of the heat wave.
Broiling summer temperatures are expected to peak across Southern California on Wednesday, as meteorologists warned of potential heat records from the Westside to the high desert.
Those areas include UCLA, where a predicted high of 96 degrees would beat the 1943 record of 91; Burbank, where a forecast of 103 degrees would beat the record of 101; and Palmdale, where the forecast of 110 degrees would beat a 1975 record of 109.
Downtown Los Angeles could hit a sizzling 97 degrees, but that won’t best a record of 109, which was set in 1891, forecasters said.
The blistering weather comes courtesy of a so-called “heat dome” that settled over the desert Southwest this week and has shifted gradually toward Southern California. While the coasts have been relatively cooler than inland areas, humid conditions have helped to equalize the misery.
Mar Vista resident Dewey Hampton said he’d experienced worse heat in his life, but conditions along the coast were still uncomfortable.
“I spent three years in Vietnam. It was 120 in the shade,” the 69-year-old said as he adjusted the brim of his straw hat. “What’s different about this, here in California, is that it wasn’t like this back in the day. It was warm, but there wasn’t the humidity.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Keily Delerme said that the current humidity would make 90 degrees feel more like 93 or 95 degrees.
Venice Beach parking attendant Osvaldo Acosta said it was tough to work outside all day in this kind of heat. The 43-year-old South Los Angeles resident said he has to remember to stay hydrated.
“We get so much more tired when it’s hot like this,” Acosta said. “And we have to deal with irritable people in their cars, honking their horns.”
The heat hadn’t made everyone miserable on Wednesday, though.
“This is not a heat wave at all,” boasted Kristen D’Amato. The 43-year-old said she recently moved to Santa Monica from Asheville, N.C.
“It feels refreshing,” D’Amato said. “All night we were able to sleep with the windows open, and it was nice and cool. It would have to hit 100 for me to feel it, and then I would just jump in the ocean.”
Not surprisingly, the heat is the worst in the desert.
The notoriously sweltering towns of Thermal, Palm Springs and Borrego all broke heat records Tuesday with temperatures reaching 122, 121 and 118 degrees, respectively. They’ll reach similar temperatures Wednesday before seeing a slight dip Thursday.