Normally temperate Southern California flexed its triple-digit muscle Wednesday, breaking local records and tying with Yuma, Arizona as the hottest spot in the nation.
Record-breaking temps were recorded in Santa Ana at the John Wayne Airport with the mercury soaring to 106 degrees.
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An unlikely May heat wave has been pounding the area for days setting off red-flag warnings and forcing officials to open cooling centers ahead of schedule. Beach cities scorched more than infamously hot Death Valley, with temps reaching into the high 90s in Newport Beach, Santa Monica and Hermosa.
Coming in at No. 2 for the hottest spot in the US was Phoenix, Arizona hitting a high of 104.
Compare that to the coldest place in the US, Hettinger, North Dakota, whose residents bundled up to a chilly 20 degrees.
Dry Las Vegas didn’t even come close to the heat in Southern California, with a high of 88.
In the Midwest, Chicago, Illinois barely tipped the barometer at 56 degrees.
New Yorkers felt the warmth of 71 similar to southerners in Montgomery, Alabama who warmed up to 74 degrees.
Thursday marked day three of the Southern California heat wave. Downtown Los Angeles shattered a 124-year heat record with a high of 99, toppling the previous high of 96.
Hot temps, dry winds and low humidity showed no mercy to the south of Los Angeles in San Diego where thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes Wednesday amid at least eight wildfires burning in the area. A high of 95 on Thursday was not the relief officials were hoping for.
Normal highs for this time of year in Southern California are about 10 to 20 degrees below Thursday’s high.
* All temperatures were taken from the National Weather Service