Summer in the fall: Triple-digit temperatures, Santa Ana winds keep Southern California hot
Celia Alfonso shades herself from the sun while walking in downtown Los Angeles as a red flag warning remained in effect Monday for almost all of Los Angeles County due to strong wind gusts, high heat and low humidity.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Erin Worra uses a parasol to shade herself while making her way to work in downtown Los Angeles.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A jogger feels the heat as he passes Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Skyscrapers on Bunker Hill are reflected in the glass facade of the new federal courthouse on Hill Street in downtown L.A. on a summer-like day.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A couple ride their cruisers along the bike path in Playa del Rey, where temperatues reached 98 degrees.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Mayu Nagatani uses an umbrella for shade as she walks to work in downtown L.A.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Don’t pull out your fall wardrobe just yet.
Southern California felt more like summer than autumn Monday, thanks to triple-digit temperatures and powerful Santa Ana winds.
The mercury reached a sizzling 104 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, higher than many inland locations that are typically 10 or more degrees warmer during the hotter parts of the year.
But it was hot all over the place.
Infographic: Where do the Santa Ana winds come from? »
The all-time recorded high in Oxnard had been 104 degrees in 1939, but the mercury Monday peaked at 105 degrees. The average high temperature in Oxnard this time of year is 74 degrees, according to Intellicast.
“This time of year you get those wild swings,” said meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
While temperatures attained record levels in some areas, not so in Los Angeles, which reached 109 degrees on Sept. 26 in 1963.
The record high for Sept. 27 is 113 degrees, set in 2010. Forecasters say that mark will not be threatened on Tuesday because the trend is headed in the other direction, with the high expected to be a still-toasty 95 degrees, according to weather.com.
Temperatures should continue to fall throughout the week, and the humidity is expected to rise.
Santa Ana winds, with gusts that reached as high as 40 miles per hour, were largely responsible for the oven-like conditions that raised temperatures some 20 degrees higher than average. Winds were expected to calm down in the Los Angeles area for the remainder of week.
On such hot days, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommends that residents avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when its burning rays are strongest.
Health officials also recommend that residents set their thermostats between 75 and 80 degrees. Those who don’t have air conditioning are advised to take a cool shower twice a day and visit a public air-conditioned facility.
The county also operates a number of community cooling centers, a list of which can be found here.
The dangerous combination of heat, dry conditions from years of drought and strong winds also makes for explosive fire conditions.
Dangerous fires were raging in other parts of the state.
Trains on the Gold, Green and Blue lines ran at restricted speeds Monday.
Running trains at lower speeds on hot days reduces the likelihood of a power substation overheating, which could put sections of a line out of service, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Anna Chen said. The overhead wires that power L.A.’s light-rail system also dip closer to trains on hot days, which can increase the likelihood of damage.
“The wires can get a little loose, and we want to be careful,” Chen said.
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10:06 p.m.: This article was updated with more specific information about high temperatures and wind speeds.
6:50 p.m.: This article was updated with a review of the day’s high temperatures and details about the forecast for the rest of the week.
2:00 p.m.: This article was updated with details on public transportation delays.
12:15 p.m.: This article was updated with details on temperature records.
10:45 a.m.: This article was updated with information on community cooling centers.
This article was originally published at 9 a.m.
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