Temperatures hit near record levels Monday, prompting many Inland Empire residents to venture to Orange County beaches to beat the heat. Jacob Rascon reports from Huntington Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2012.
Temperatures soared into triple digits Monday as Southern California sweltered in summer-like heat at the beginning of October, but a mid-week cool down is in the forecast, said NBC4 forecaster Fritz Coleman.
It'll be Wednesday before temperatures are noticeably cooler, Coleman said, but temperatures will drop about 20 degrees by the weekend.
On Monday, the mercury in Downtown Los Angeles climbed near 100 degrees -- about 20 degrees above normal and matching a record high. Just before 11 a.m., the temperature in downtown Los Angeles was 91 degrees.
Temperatures ranging from 102 to 107 degrees were felt in Inland Empire valleys. And Lancaster set a record on Monday as temperatures reached 99 degrees, breaking the 1980 record by 1 degree.
Red flag warnings were issued for the Santa Clarita Valley, and Los Angeles and Ventura county mountains. They expired at 6 p.m.
The high fire danger warning was prompted by dry, hot conditions and wind gusts that might exceed 20 mph.
"Fire danger is expected to peak on Monday when record breaking triple-digit heat and widespread single-digit humidities will combine with very dry fuels," according to a National Weather Service statement.
The coast usually provides a break from the heat, but not this time. Expect a high of 91 degrees Monday and 89 Tuesday on the coast.
On Sunday, the temperature in Woodland Hills hit 103, topping a record of 102 set in 2003. Indio reached 81 degrees, breaking the previous record of 79 set in 1966.
"We will see a drop in temperature readings by the end of the week," said Loresca.
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