Summer-like temperatures once again will intrude into winter Friday, with highs climbing into the mid-80s again.
Friday will mark the third consecutive day of above-average temperatures in Southern California.
Woodland Hills reached a high of 88 degrees Thursday, breaking the record for Dec. 27 -- 86 degrees, set in 1963, according to the National Weather Service. It was the second day a record was broken in Woodland Hills, where Friday's high was forecast to be 85.
Woodland Hills was expected to be the hottest spot in the nation Thursday, but that distinction ended up going to Lake Elsinore in Riverside County, which hit a high of 89. With much of the nation under a deep freeze, there's a 90 percent chance that the nation's highest temperatures Friday once again will be in Southern California.
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A record was also reached near the Antelope Valley in Sandberg, which hit 70 degrees Thursday, breaking the 2013 record for the date of 69 degrees.
Two elements generally produce above-normal temperatures -- upper-level high pressure and weak offshore winds. We're experiencing both.
Rain had earlier been expected to materialize by New Year's Day, but that won't happen. It will take several more days for any precipitation to show up.
The dry start to Southern California's rain season, which began Oct. 1, is not a good sign -- the period October to December accounts for 27 percent of the total rainfall in an average season. January through March typically account for 63 percent of the rain in an average year.
A strong ridge of high pressure is partly to blame. It's keeping the jet stream to the north, ushering wet weather into the Pacific Northwest. That ridge was in a different location last year, contributing to a conveyor belt of moisture directed at California.
On the positive side, there will be no rain this week in Pasadena, the site of the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade. Expect a high of 74 under partly cloudy skies on Monday, New Year's Day. Since 1890, it has rained on the Rose Parade only 10 times.
Two heat records for Dec. 27 were set in Los Angeles County Wednesday, when the temperatures reached 86 in the San Fernando Valley, breaking the record of 85 set in 2013, and 70 degrees in Sandberg, a mountain location near the Antelope Valley, breaking the record 67 set in 2013.
The NWS forecast sunny skies in Los Angeles County Thursdayand highs of 70 in Lancaster; 71 in Palmdale and on Mt. Wilson; 73 in Avalon; 77 in Saugus; 78 at LAX; 80 in Long Beach; 82 in Pasadena, Burbank and San Gabriel;and 86 in Woodland Hills.
LA County temperatures are forecast to decline marginally Friday, more sharply on Saturday, then remain mostly in the low to mid 70s through Wednesday, including a high of 74 under partly cloudy skies on New Year's Day in Pasadena, where the Rose Parade will take place.
Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County Thursday, along with highs of 68 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 70 in Newport Beach; 78 in Anaheim and Irvine; 80 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 82 in Yorba Linda.
Orange County temperatures will again be as high as the low 80s Friday, then decline by several degrees on Sunday and remain in the high 60s and low 70s at least through Wednesday, including on New Year's Day.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District said air quality Thursday would be unhealthful for sensitive groups in several areas of Southern California, including the coast, metropolitan Los Angeles, all of Orange County, and portions of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Sensitive groups include people with heart disease and such respiratory ailments as asthma. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said such people should minimize outdoor activities, and children with these conditions should stay indoors as much as possible and avoid outdoor physical activities.