Orange County beaches were jammed Saturday with more than 250,000 people seeking relief from the unrelenting heat wave. But Jim Spencer of Mission Viejo dodged the crowds and scorching weather to work on his tan elsewhere--nude and surrounded by 30 ultraviolet lamps at a Lake Forest tanning salon.
"Most people are probably thinking why do you come to a place like this when it's 100 degrees outside?" said Spencer, 36. "It's a lot cooler in here, and the atmosphere is better."
On Saturday, temperatures reached 100 degrees in Fullerton, Lake Forest and Tustin. It also hit 100 in Santa Ana, which tied the city's record high for the date. Dana Point was a bit cooler at 88 degrees, while lifeguards in Newport Beach reported a high of 86.
More of the same is expected for today and Monday. The source of all the hot air is high-pressure clouds moving in from northern New Mexico, said Curtis Brack, a meteorologist with WeatherData, which provides forecasts for The Times.
The highs today and Monday are expected to peak around 102 degrees inland and remain in the upper 70s at the coast, Brack said.
After Monday, conditions should begin to let up--at least by a few degrees, Brack said.
But there was no hint of relief Saturday as thousands flocked to Orange County beaches--in numbers more typical of Labor Day and Fourth of July weekends, lifeguards said.
Many people were reluctant to leave.
By late afternoon, "they were still in the water in droves," said Eric Bauer, a Newport Beach lifeguard. He said about 115,000 people came to the city's beach Saturday; usual weekend crowds there hover around 80,000.
Bauer said there were about 150 rescues. One woman suffered from heat exhaustion and was taken to a local hospital, where she was in stable condition.
About 95,000 journeyed to city and state beaches in Huntington Beach, 35,000 to Laguna Beach and 25,000 to Seal Beach, where thousands also showed up for a volleyball tournament on the beach.
"It's bumping bodies on the beach," said Seal Beach lifeguard Cliff Kjoss. "It's fun. It's a great day at the beach."
Even past sunset, Seal Beach was hopping.
"There are millions of people still in the water," Kjoss said.
Some inland business owners nevertheless enjoyed a boom from sweltering conditions.
At Pep Boys Service, nine of 10 cars sitting in the service garage were awaiting air-conditioning repair.
During hot weather, "people are real impatient," said Hector Montoya, assistant service manager.
"They want it done like this," he said, snapping his fingers.
Business also was booming at the 4 Seasons Suntanning Salon in Lake Forest.
Co-owner Celeste Avellana said the heat wave drew customers hoping to escape the weather in an air-conditioned booth.
"They want to make it look like they've been in the sun all day," said Avellana. "They can look like they've been getting sunshine without baking out there."
On Saturday, Jim Spencer was listening to music and napping during a 30-minute visit to the salon.
"You don't have to worry about getting sand (all over your body), or worry about the sun beating on you," he said.
Hot, Hot, Hot
The heat wave continued to blanket Orange County Saturday. Here are some high temperatures:
Dana Point: 88 Degrees
Lake Forest: 100
Newport Beach: 86
Santa Ana: 100
Source: WeatherData and Newport Beach lifeguards