Beach weather in February? Warm temperatures on tap for Southern California this week
Anyone longing to break out their swimsuits and body boards will have cause to celebrate this week, as warming temperatures will bring beach weather to large swaths of Southern California.
Forecasts throughout the region show highs will leap more than 10 degrees from Monday to Thursday, with temperatures hitting the mid-80s in some inland areas, according to the National Weather Service.
The unusually warm weather could rewrite the record books. Downtown Los Angeles is projected to hit 86 degrees Thursday afternoon, which could tie a mark set in 1992, according to John Dumas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The city’s typical high for this time of year is around 69 degrees.
Farther north in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles also could see record heat, with forecasts predicting 80 degrees by Thursday, Dumas said.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows almost half of California is either abnormally dry or in moderate drought.
The warm-up is causing weather whiplash for residents there. Paso Robles Municipal Airport hit a record low 21 degrees just three weeks ago.
The warming trend will be widespread. Long Beach is projected to hit 80 degrees Thursday, compared with Monday’s forecast high of 67. Similar leaps are expected in Anaheim, which will rise from 73 degrees Monday to 85 Thursday. In San Diego, temperatures will top out at 77 Thursday, an 11-degree increase from Monday, forecasts show.
“Right now, the best bet is for really fair weather and above-normal temperatures for a good portion of the week, then you start getting into the latter part of the weekend and it starts to go downhill,” said Ivory Small, a Weather Service meteorologist based in San Diego.
The culprit behind the unseasonably warm weather is a stubborn high-pressure ridge that’s lingered over the eastern Pacific Ocean for much of January and February — rerouting the winter storms that typically soak the Southland this time of year.
A persistent high-pressure ridge over the eastern Pacific Ocean has kept wet weather at bay for much of January and early February in California.
“It’s been unusually strong, so all the storms have been pushed north of us,” Small said.
However, there might be good news on the rain front this weekend, forecasters say. A storm could roll into the area Sunday, though it’s not clear how strong that system will be. Dumas said the current forecast is for a “slight chance of rain showers.”
Until then, “enjoy the weather through the middle of the week,” Small said.
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