Mountain biker Guillermo Salazar of Reseda wipes sweat from his forehead while taking a break from riding amid temperatures in the 90s at San Vicente Mountain Park in Los Angeles.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A surfer wipes out at the Wedge in Newport Beach.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
As beachgoers watch the waves at the Wedge in Newport Beach, a boy executes a back flip off the sand berm.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A windsurfer catches a wave at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, where temperatures reached into the 80s.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A woman walks past the fountain at Exposition Park, where temperatures reached into the 90s on Tuesday.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Lisa Rotunno shares water with her horse, Lexi, during a daily walk in their Chatsworth neighborhood. Normally, she would be riding, but decided it was too. hot(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Two women stroll through Marina Bay during the heat wave that is scheduled to last through Thursday.(Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)
Isabel Gonzalez, 11, of Los Angeles, participates in Junior Lifeguard training at Celes King III Swimming Pool in Los Angeles. The eight-week summer program offered through the city of Los Angles allows youths 10-17 to improve their swimming skills and learn basic water rescue, first aid and snorkeling techniques.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Instructor Devin Mora, right, keeps an eye on students during Junior Lifeguard training at Celes King III Swimming Pool in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Summer crowds converge on Newport Beach, where temperatures reached into the 80s. Hot and dry weather is expected to peak in Southern California on Wednesday, with the mercury topping triple digits in many inland areas.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Beachgoers are reflected in the mirrored windows of a lifeguard station in Newport Beach.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Mountain biker Guillermo Salazar, of Reseda, wipes sweat from his forehead while taking a break from riding amid temperatures in the 90’s at San Vicente Mountain Park in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 24.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A child rides the surf aboard an inflatable flamingo at Newport Beach.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Shadows are cast as the sun begins to set and children cool off at Sunset Beach. An excessive heat warning for the Los Angeles area has been issued as Southern California faces its second major heat wave this summer.(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)
Children play beside a lifeguard tower as sunset approaches at Sunset Beach.(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)
Searing temperatures plagued many parts of Southern California during the month of July as a massive heat wave set records in Death Valley, Los Angeles, Long Beach and other areas, according to the National Weather Service.
All-time average record highs in July were reported at Long Beach Airport (77.8 degrees), Van Nuys Airport (83.6 degrees), Lancaster Airport (87.2 degrees) and Oxnard (73.1 degrees), according to the National Weather Service.
It was the third warmest July in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877, with the average temperature in July reaching 79.9 degrees. The warmest July for that area was in 2006.
It was also the warmest July on record in Fresno. For 26 consecutive days temperatures were above 100 degrees, said Brian Ochs, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. Ochs said the previous record was set in 2005 with 22 days in a row of temperatures being maintained above 100 degrees.
Bakersfield also saw broiling temperatures that set records. Ochs said it was the second warmest July on record, with temperatures exceeding the monthly July average by about 6 degrees.
Bakersfield saw 21 days in a row in July of temperatures above 100 degrees — the ninth longest on record. The record was set in 1906 when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees for 50 consecutive days.
Death Valley also set many records.
Toward the end of July, Death Valley had three consecutive days of temperatures reaching 127 degrees, said meteorologist David Sweet with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The average temperature for the month of July in Death Valley was 108 degrees, which is the warmest on record. Before that, the record was set in 2017 with temperatures reaching 107.4 degrees.
The blazing heat is the result of persistent high pressure over the western U.S., meteorologists said.
“It’s basically a stable dry air mass that develops and it means stable, hotter and dry,” Ochs said. “We knew it was going to be a warmer-than-average July but not necessary to the degree that it was so, so I’d say it’s a little bit of a surprise but not entirely unexpected.”
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