The mercury soared to 121 degrees Monday in Palm Springs, toppling a 50-year-old maximum temperature record, amid two heat warnings covering the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley, the National Weather Service reported.
An excessive heat warning was issued for the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, and a heat advisory for the Riverside metropolitan area.
Meteorologist Tyler Maio said Palm Springs reached a high of 121 Monday afternoon, breaking the 120-degree record for this date set in 1969.
The high in Thermal was 118 degrees, while the mercury reached 103 in Riverside, 99 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and 96 in Temecula, according to the NWS.
"Palm Springs wasn't the only record today," NBCLA meteorologist Fritz Coleman said Monday. "In the high desert, Lancaster tied one at 107."
Coleman added that the records follow the hottest July ever recorded in the state of California.
The average temperature was 79.7 degrees, Coleman added, which topped the old record of 79.5 degrees set in 1931.
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"Eight of the 10 hottest Julys on record have been since 1996," Coleman said. "All that to say, we may be looking a more easily broken records in the near future."
The high pressure system that brought extreme heat to the region is expected to make its way east on Tuesday, bringing a drop in temperatures throughout the region, according to NWS meteorologist Stefanie Sullivan. After the significant cooling on Tuesday, temperatures are expected to drop a degree or two each day through Friday, Sullivan said.
A slight chance of thunderstorms is also predicted for tonight through Tuesday morning in parts of the Inland Empire and the desert region.
Cooling centers are open daily across the county, providing residents who do not live in climate-controlled environments a free, cool space to relax until the evening hours.