After July was named the hottest month ever recorded, a cooldown is expected in Southern California

Adults and children cool off in the pool as the temperature tops 100 degrees Aug. 5 at Shamel Park Pool in Riverside.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Monday was one for the record books in Palm Springs as temperatures peaked at 121 degrees — a hot start to August after the hottest July ever recorded globally.

The National Weather Service reported that Monday’s high in the desert city broke the 120-degree daily record set in 1969. The California communities of Thermal and Ocotillo Wells also baked at 120 degrees, and the National Weather Service issued heat warnings in Victorville, Borrego Springs and across the Coachella Valley.

The heat — which also nearly beat the daily high for the entire country of 122 degrees in Death Valley — comes after the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Programme reported that July 2019 was the warmest month on record. The global temperatures topped those in July 2016, which followed an El Niño.


Climatologist Michael Anderson with the California Department of Water Resources agreed that last month was the warmest July on record for the U.S., although the full report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assn. has yet to come out. The record warmest average temperature for July in California is 74.8 degrees, recorded in July 2006, he said.

Most of Southern California will see a significant cooling trend as the week continues. Meteorologist Adam Roser with the National Weather Service’s San Diego office said temperatures in Palm Springs are forecast to reach about 108 degrees on Tuesday and drop to 105 degrees by the weekend.

All five of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last five years, according to global temperature data released Wednesday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Feb. 6, 2019

In the Los Angeles area, the weather has stayed relatively cool. No heat records have been broken since the state’s record-hot July came to an end.

Bonnie Bartling, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office, said a low-pressure system out of the Pacific Northwest will keep temperatures down through the weekend as low clouds, fog and patches of gusty winds roll into coastal areas.

As August continues, experts advise residents to keep an eye on temperatures and limit their outdoor activities, hydrate and monitor children, elderly people and animals accordingly.