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Palm Springs matches all-time high temperature of 123 degrees

A view of the pool at the Lawrence Welk estate in Palm Springs.
A view of the swimming pool at the Lawrence Welk estate in Palm Springs. The city matched its all-time record of 123 degrees Thursday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In a blazing hot week of heat records, Palm Springs takes the crown: The city reached 123 degrees Thursday, matching an all-time record it had previously set three times before.

Palm Springs previously climbed to 123 degrees on Aug. 1, 1993; July 28, 1995; and July 29, 1995. The temperature also sets a new record for Palm Springs in June, breaking the previous high of 122 for the month set June 29, 2013; June 20, 2016; and June 20, 24 and 25, 2017.

The city is having a banner week — on Thursday, it reached 122 degrees, breaking the previous daily record of 116 for June 17 set in 1961. On Tuesday, it broke the previous daily record of 116, also set in 1961, when it hit 120 degrees. The nights have been warmer than usual, too — in the 80s and 90s overnight — which makes for a remarkable heat wave, said National Weather Service meteorologist Elizabeth Schenk.

She explained that a high-pressure system has been hovering over the southwest part of the desert for days, driving temperatures up.

“It is very dry as well, so when there’s not a lot of moisture in the air and you just have this high pressure sitting there, it allows the temperatures to really skyrocket,” Schenk said.

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The weather is expected to shift over the weekend, causing temperatures to dip slightly before rising again by the end of next week, Schenk said.

“Deserts are going to — I don’t like to say ‘cool’ because it’s still going to be 110 Monday — but the temps will fall slightly,” she said.

The weather service recommends people in Palm Springs avoid any strenuous activity outdoors, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.

“I know it’s hard because people are starting to get out and about [after COVID-19] this year, but you have to be so careful in this heat because of heat exhaustion,” Schenk said.


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