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Heat Wave Continues, Should Break Tuesday

Times Staff Writer

Sweltering temperatures continued to torment Southland residents today as they celebrated Columbus Day. But the heat spell, caused by mild Santa Ana conditions, should break Tuesday, forecasters say.

“It looks like it will cool down significantly because the easterly winds will diminish and winds will be coming from the ocean inland,” said Janice Roth of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times.

By 1 p.m. today, the temperature at the Los Angeles Civic Center had reached 90 degrees, with a high of 98 degrees expected in mid-afternoon. The record temperature for Oct. 10 at the Civic Center is 101 degrees, set in 1971.

On Sunday, a record temperature of 102 degrees was set at the Civic Center at 2 p.m., besting the former mark, which was set in 1976, by 4 degrees.

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The normal high for early October is about 80 degrees, according to Roth.

Today’s sizzling temperatures resulted from a high-pressure system centered over western Montana. The system has caused northeast-to-east winds to blow across the mountains, producing a mild Santa Ana condition as they reach the Los Angeles Basin. The Santa Ana winds were blowing about 10 m.p.h.

With government offices, courts, banks and post offices closed for the official celebration of Columbus Day, many people had an opportunity to stay home and turn up the air conditioning. Schools, most businesses and stock exchanges were open.

On Tuesday, Roth said, cooling winds from the ocean of up to 15 to 20 m.p.h. should bring coastal temperatures back down toward the more normal 70-degree mark. Inland temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday should reach the mid-80s, she said.

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