Heat wave sets new temperature records across California

A March heat wave set new temperature records across California on Saturday, with more sweltering conditions in the forecast for Sunday.

Lifeguards reported big crowds at local beaches, even though the temperatures along the coast were in the high 80s and low 90s.

Downtown L.A., Long Beach, San Diego and other spots set new temperature records for the date -- for the second day in a row. Downtown L.A. was at 93 degrees by 1 p.m.

Temperarures in inland valley areas were also high, including 94 in San Gabriel and 92 in Van Nuys.


The heart extended to Northern California, where San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto set a new record for the day of 84 degrees.

The heat is caused by a high-pressure system moving across the region, according to the National Weather Service.

With temperatures 20 degrees above normal, the heat this weekend will break records that have stood for more than 60 years, said meteorologist Stuart Seto. On Saturday, highs will hit the 90s inland and the 80s on the coast.

“These are record-breaking temperatures,” Seto said.


Seto warned that the heat could strain the power grid and outages were possible. It also could pose health risks for those active and outdoors.

Because temperatures are expected to climb, L.A. Marathon organizers pushed up the starting time for Sunday’s race by 30 minutes.

At the time the marathon starts at 6:55 a.m., temperatures are expected to be in the 60s. As runners make it to Santa Monica, the ocean breeze will provide little relief. The temperature is expected reach 80 degrees by noon.

During the race, runners will have access to air-conditioned buses where they can cool off and misting stations stocked with ice and cold towels.

On Saturday, beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara drew visitors. Many agencies added more lifeguards to the duty roster to handle the extra crowds.

Capt. Kenichi Haskett with the L.A. County Fire Department estimated to City News Service that more than 1 million people would visit the L.A. County coast this weekend.

By Monday afternoon, temperatures will drop and cooler weather will follow.

High-temperature records were broken across the region Friday. New records for the date were set in downtown Los Angeles (90), Long Beach (91), Camarillo (92), Santa Ana (96), San Diego (89) and Santa Barbara Airport (84).


Firefighters dealt Friday with fires in Malibu and Ventura County. 

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

Shelby Grad contributed to this report.

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