Towels and umbrellas lined the sand in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach on Friday as people flocked to the coast to escape an oppressive heat wave that descended on the area.
Temperatures soared to record heights in Newport Beach on Friday, reaching 85 degrees by the afternoon. That beat the heat record for July 6 of 82 degrees set in 1936, according to the National Weather Service. At 5 p.m., the temperature was 88.
The mercury broke the 100-degree mark in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley, the weather service said. It was slightly cooler in Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, but still sweltering in the mid-90s.
The weather service issued a heat advisory Friday, saying the high temperatures could increase the likelihood of heat-related illnesses.
Thousands of beach-goers who sought relief wading in 65-degree ocean water were met with more accommodating conditions than earlier in the week.
Swells generated by Hurricane Fabio that had pounded south-facing beaches with 6- to 8-foot waves in Huntington, Newport and Laguna beginning Wednesday had tapered off by Thursday night, according to lifeguards. Surf in much of the area Friday was 3 to 5 feet, with larger sets at some beaches.
The combination of crowds and waves kept lifeguards busy, they said.
Huntington Beach lifeguards reported 70 rescues Wednesday. They made 38 on Thursday and expected a similar number Friday, according to Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis.
“We still have a lot of people out in the water, which is the main factor for the number of rescues,” he said. “People are coming down here to cool off. It’s definitely a packed day.”
The number of rescues in Laguna and Newport was not immediately available Friday.
Forecasters said area temperatures are expected to be in the low 90s and mid-80s on Saturday and the low 80s and mid-70s on Sunday and Monday.