March heat shatters records in bone-dry Los Angeles


A series of heat waves this month -- including a brief one one that ended Friday -- brought a grim new distinction to hot, dry Los Angeles.

This is the first March since record-keeping began in 1877 that has had six days with highs in the 90s or above in Los Angeles. That shattered the record set in 1977, when there were three days of highs in the 90s.

Overall, temperatures are warmer, and the trend is expected to continue for the next three months.


“This type of weather is very unusual,” said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Almost every day this year temperatures have been on average 10 degrees above normal in California, while there has been little precipitation, Seto said.

“We are not only getting warmer, but we are also losing water,” he said.

Downtown Los Angeles on Friday tied a record for the day, hitting 91 degrees.

A high-pressure system coupled with weak offshore flows caused temperatures to increase throughout the Southland.

Saturday will be much cooler after clouds and fog overnight, and temperatures will return to normal by Sunday. Next week will also be warm with temperatures seven or eight degrees above normal.

Dry conditions have worsened in California, and mountain snowpacks have shrunk over the last few weeks, according to the latest U.S. drought report.

Rainfall fell short of supplying any significant moisture to relieve the drought, according to meteorologist Eric Luebehusen of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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