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Triple-digit heat bakes L.A. County; records set or tied in desert

Triple-digit heat scorches Southern California as heat wave hits the region
Palm Springs hits 116 degrees Wednesday, tying a daily record set in 2006, the Weather Service says

Triple-digit heat scorched inland areas of Southern California on Wednesday as forecasters predicted that above-normal temperatures would continue into the weekend.

In the desert, Thermal hit 119 degrees, breaking a daily record of 118 degrees that was set in 2006.  Palm Springs reached 116 degrees, tying a daily record that also was set in 2006, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 4 p.m. in Los Angeles County, Northridge, Saugus and Van Nuys each had hit 100 degrees. Acton and Lancaster topped out at 102, according to the weather service.

San Gabriel reached 91 degrees, Long Beach Airport was 89 and downtown Los Angeles recorded a high of 88.

Closer to the coast, Torrance was 80 degrees, Santa Monica Airport was 83 and Oxnard in Ventura County was 81.

Temperatures were even hotter in the Inland Empire, where Lake Elsinore reached 107 degrees, according to the weather service. Hemet hit 103 and Riverside recorded a high of 100. 

The hot weather was being caused by high pressure that will continue to expand over the region, forecasters said. 

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County health officials declared a heat alert for the Pomona area, where temperatures were in the upper 90s. The heat alert will be in affect from Thursday through Friday, the county Public Health Department said.

"Everyone should remember to take special care of themselves, children, the elderly, and their pets," said Jonathan E. Fielding, county director of public health. "Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly." 

The National Weather Service recently reported that the last two years were the driest in downtown Los Angeles since record-keeping began in 1877. 

The agency said that the 2012-14 rainy seasons -- which are measured every July 1 to June 30 -- only brought 11.93 inches of rainfall. That was 17.93 inches below normal.

By comparison, the 1897-99 seasons saw 12.65 inches of rain, or about 17.21 inches below normal for the period, according to the weather service.

"It's the worst drought we probably have seen in our lifetime," said Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist at the weather service's office in Oxnard.

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