After opening their presents, some Southern California children took to the slopes of their local beaches. The warm Christmas Day weather made their venture more worthwhile than a trip to the mountains. Kate Larsen reports from Hermosa Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
Temperatures are running 10 to 20 degrees above normal in some parts of Southern California Wednesday afternoon during what could be a day of Christmas records.
National Weather Service: SoCal Record Highs on Dec. 25
Temperatures climbed past 80 degrees in much of the Southland Wednesday thanks to light to moderate Santa Ana winds blanketing the region with warm inland air.
By midday, downtown Los Angeles reached 81 degrees, just shy of the Los Angeles record 85 degrees set Dec. 25, 1980.
The normal high for Dec. 25 in downtown LA is 67 degrees.
"Enjoy the 80s -- it's going to be a toasty Christmas Day," said NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger.
The temperature was 82 degrees at noon in Huntington Beach, and Long Beach reached 83.
SoCal families flocked to the beaches and went "sand sledding" and "snow surfing," appropriate winter activities for such summer-like weather.
Long Beach reached a record of 81 in 1972 and Santa Ana climbed to a record of 777 degrees two years ago.
NBC4 spoke with tourists Tuesday in Long Beach who said they checked the weather at their much-colder homes – from Idaho, to Philadelphia and Colorado – and laughed as they basked in the SoCal sunshine.
The warm weather is expected to last through the week, cooling only slightly (into the 70s) for the weekend.
But there is a single weather-related worry: wind.
Los Angeles County – including downtown LA, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Malibu, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Long Beach – were under a 12-hour wind advisory starting 4 a.m. Christmas Day.
Gusts up to 40 mph are expected to whip through the LA County passes and canyons from the Hollywood Hills to Port Hueneme, according to the National Weather Service. Red flag warnings remained in effect throughout Christmas Day.
The winds will increase early Wednesday and peak midday, and may redevelop Wednesday night, the agency said.
NBC4's Hetty Chang contributed to this report.