124-Year Heat Record Shattered in Downtown LA, More Records on the Way

Conditions are expected to be even warmer than Wednesday when several communities sizzled in record high temperatures

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, May 15, 2014  |  Updated 9:20 AM PDT
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Expect dry, hot conditions as red flag warnings are in effect for most of Southern California until 8 p.m. Thursday. Crystal Egger has the forecast for Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Expect dry, hot conditions as red flag warnings are in effect for most of Southern California until 8 p.m. Thursday. Crystal Egger has the forecast for Thursday, May 15, 2014.

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Record high temperatures are likely Thursday during what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far in Southern California, where several wildfires broke out amid windy and dry conditions.

The region will swelter through another record-breaking day in the midst of a spring heat wave that brought red flag fire weather warnings during dry and windy conditions. Several brush fires broke out Wednesday, including destructive fires north of San Diego.

More than a dozen cities broke or tied high temperatures Wednesday for May 14. The high temperature reached 99 in downtown Los Angeles, breaking the old record of 96 set 124 years ago. Airports in Long Beach and Camarillo topped 100 degrees -- the warmest since 1981.

Normal highs for this time of year are about 10 to 20 degrees below Thursday's projected highs.

Triple-digit temperatures are in store for several communities, including Burbank, Riverside and Anaheim. That means more records highs might be eclipsed Thursday afternoon.

Record Highs for May 15

  • Santa Barbara: 91 (1970)
  • Camarillo: 96 (1967)
  • Downtown LA: 101 (1970)
  • LAX: 94 (1956)
  • Long Beach: 100 (1967)
  • Santa Ana: 77 (2008)
  • Burbank: 100 (1970)
  • Ontario: 100 (2008)
  • Palmdale: 97 (1976)
  • Lancaster: 96 (1972)
  • Palm Springs: 111 (1948)

Red flag warnings, indicating the possibility for rapid spread of wildfires, are in effect for a widespread area of Southern California. A fire weather warning expired Wednesday in Orange County, but a heat advisory was in force until 6 p.m.

Thursday's winds will be somewhat weaker than earlier this week but gusts  of between 25 and 35 miles per hour are forecast for the morning across the  valleys and mountains, according to the National Weather Service. The region has been swept by Santa Ana winds since Sunday, but a gradual  transition to onshore winds is expected through Thursday afternoon, the National  Weather Service reported.

By Sunday, temperatures are expected to drop toward normal for this time of year.

"Change is on the way," said NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger. "Temperatures will be slowly cooling for the weekend."

May 14 records set Wednesday include 96 degrees at Los Angeles International Airport, breaking the record of 87  set in 1967; 99 degrees at downtown Los Angeles/USC, breaking the record of 96 set in  1890; 101 degrees at Long Beach Airport, breaking the record of 93 set in 1970; 96 degrees at UCLA, breaking the record of 87 set in 1979 and tied last  year; and 83 degrees at Sandberg, breaking the record of 82 set in 2006 and tied in  2013.

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