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A Day for All Seasons : Inland Swelters While the Beach Shivers in Mist

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Terry Gill sat huddled in a blue and white towel looking slightly chilled. It was not, she said, what she had envisioned at home in hot San Bernardino on Monday morning when she decided to take the kids to the beach.

They had arrived to find the shore shrouded in fog. But the boys “love the sand and the water though, so it’s all right,” she said, watching her son Adam, 7, race toward the ocean.

Throughout the day, a strange pairing of fog and heat visited Orange County. Temperatures climbed in northern and inland areas, while cool fog clung to the coast throughout the day, playing havoc with boats and airplanes alike.

A 58-foot private boat, the Black Gold of Coronado, ran aground about 2 p.m. a mile south of the Newport Harbor entrance, officials said. Fog apparently contributed to the accident, said Steve Allison, a sales manager with Vessel Assist, a towing company.

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The boat’s owner, Robert Tyner, and another person who was on the boat with him were not injured, Allison said. Divers will assess any damage done to the boat.

At John Wayne Airport, the fog also delayed 20 early-morning departures and eight arriving flights for just more than an hour.

“Visibility didn’t improve until about 8:10 a.m.,” said Bob Nietzel, an air traffic controller. By 9 a.m., things were back to normal.

For many, the soupy fog provided relief from the steadily rising heat inland.

“If you were coming from Fullerton where it was probably 90 degrees, then it feels pretty cool down here,” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officer Mike Bartlett said during the midafternoon as temperatures on the beach hovered around the mid-60s. In Newport Beach, Marine Safety Lt. John Blauer said: “It’s certainly cool, but that does not mean it’s not pleasant.” The water, too, was not unbearable, he said.

“It’s not going to give you an ice cream headache or anything like that,” he said.

Away from the beaches, Orange County residents faced the reverse problem: how to keep cool.

Jeannie Kozinski, an office manager for a local air conditioning firm, said repair crews have been busily chasing the sudden surge in business since Saturday due to the higher-than-normal temperatures.

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“If you don’t have any air conditioning, you are probably uncomfortable, but if you do have it and it’s broken, you are probably miserable because you are used to it,” Kozinski said.

But after a cool August, the business is welcome, she said.

Curtis Brack, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides weather forecasts for The Times, said the dual weather pattern is a result of warm air moving downward from the mountains and “squashing” clouds along the coastline, creating dense fog.

While the hot weather throughout most of the county may seem unusual, especially after a cool August, Brack said it is a “common autumn episode.”

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“It’s fairly common to get some of these Indian summer things,” Brack said, adding that the temperatures did not break any records. Temperatures reached 95 degrees in Anaheim, 94 in Irvine and 90 in Santa Ana.

Some teachers were even able to incorporate the heat into their lesson plans.

Becky Bocz’s second-grade class cooled off by celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday and bobbing for apples in a plastic pool at Fern Drive Elementary School in Fullerton, where the temperatures reached the 90s.

“The kids loved it,” she said. “We also cooled off with applesauce sundaes. They peeled the apples in the water.”

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Forecasters predict a general cooling trend for the next few days, with coastal temperatures reaching the low 70s and inland temperatures in the low 90s.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District expected the blast of heat to contribute to high smog levels, and schools in North County were notified that the ozone level might reach the “unhealthful” stage by noon Monday.

But only Anaheim reached the health alert stage in the late afternoon, while parts of El Toro and Saddleback Valley had smog at the “unhealthful” level, said Bill Kelly, community relations manager with the air quality district. The rest of the county stayed at “healthful” levels, he said.

Times staff writer Gebe Martinez contributed to this story.

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How Hot Was It? The mercury in Anaheim rose Monday to within one degree of tying the record for the hottest Sept. 27 on the books. Temperatures around Orange County:

City High Anaheim 95 Dana Point 74 El Toro 92 Irvine 94 Laguna Beach 78 Newport Beach 71 Santa Ana 90

Avg. Sept. Sept. 27,1992 Hottest Hottest City high high Sept. 27 September day Anaheim 86 96 96/1992 101/23rd,1963 Newport Beach 73 75 97/1973 107/26th,1963 Santa Ana 84 96 108/1963 110/26th,1963 Tustin 84 96 109/1963 111/26th,1963

Source: WeatherData Inc.

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