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Winds Take Some of the Sizzle Out of Heat Wave : Weather: Temperatures reached the 90s in many places, but a strong afternoon sea breeze brought a measure of relief. Slight cooling is forecast.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Orange County suffered through another steamy summer day Monday, with some welcome relief coming to the coast in the form of a strong afternoon wind.

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The hottest spot was Lake Forest, which reached 97 degrees. Irvine sizzled at 94, Anaheim was 93, and Santa Ana and Laguna Beach both saw highs of 91. The thermometer peaked at 84 degrees in Dana Point and was a relieving 78 in Newport.

The hottest Aug. 15 in Santa Ana history was in 1920, when it was 94 degrees.

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Forecasters suggested that the best chance of any real relief soon will probably be at the ocean, and hundreds of thousands of people took them at their word and headed for county beaches.

Local lifeguards said surf was smaller Monday than over the weekend, and that a strong wind helped cool the afternoon.

“The wind blew everybody off the beach this afternoon. There’s very few people left compared to yesterday,” Newport Beach Marine Safety Lt. Eric Bauer said about 4 p.m. Monday. “The wind put a lot of sand in everybody’s sandwiches.”

Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Steve Seim said waves of only four feet--about half of the weekend swell--and the fact that community college students are heading back to school this week meant shrunken crowds Monday compared to Saturday and Sunday. But the water was still warm, and plenty of people were around to enjoy it.

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A slight “cooling trend” is scheduled to develop today and Wednesday, with temperatures of mid-70s along the coast and mid-90s inland, according to Curtis Brack, a meteorologist with WeatherData, which provides forecasts for The Times.

“We’re still expecting a cooling trend over the next few days,” Brack said. “The high pressure that’s over California is going to weaken a little bit and we’ll finally develop a little more marine layer, a little offshore breeze, and some clouds.

“If you guys want some relief, go to the mountains,” Brack added. “They’re getting lots of rain.”

While no records were broken here, the 98 degrees registered in downtown Los Angeles topped the old mark of 96 set in 1885, and triple-digit temperatures hit several locations in Southern California. Van Nuys and Ontario registered 100 and Newhall reached 101, while it topped out at 102 in Riverside, 104 in Lancaster and 107 in Palmdale.

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Record or not, crowds still gathered at the beach--and complained about the heat, lifeguards said. Laguna had about 15,000 beach-goers, according to lifeguard Christian Corbo.

“It was hot in the morning, but when the wind started blowing it cooled down a little bit,” Corbo said. “I’ve been sitting inside all day, so for me it was nice.”

Times staff writer Edward J. Boyer contributed to this story.

Heat Holds Ninety-degree temperatures persisted Monday. Selected readings from around the county: Anaheim: 93 degrees Santa Ana: 91 degrees Lake Forest: 97 degrees Irvine: 94 degrees Newport Beach: 78 degrees Laguna Beach: 91 degrees Dana Point: 84 degrees Source: WeatherData

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