High pressure pushes summer-like weather into Southern California, temperatures soar



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LOS ANGELES — It's beach weather in Los Angeles.

A slow-moving ridge of high pressure has ushered in summer-like temperatures to Southern California, sending droves of people to the Pacific coast for a dip and prompting Los Angeles Marathon organizers to schedule an early start.

Los Angeles temperatures in mid-March typically top out around 70 degrees. But by Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said the downtown temperature hit a record 93 degrees. Santa Ana in Orange County reached 94 degrees, and Torrance, just south of Los Angeles, hit 95 degrees.

"Go to New England if you're looking for cooler temperatures," advised federal meteorologist John Dumas, who said the high pressure could linger over the region until early next week.

That weather pattern turns off the cooling sea breeze and turns up the temperatures, Dumas said.

High temperatures were recorded in other parts of the state on Saturday. In the San Francisco Bay area, the mercury hit 89 degrees in San Jose, beating an old record of 88 set in 1914. In central California, Bakersfield hit 91 degrees, breaking an old record of 88 set in 1916.

To beat the heat, marathon organizers will kick off the race Sunday at 6:55 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. The unusually hot weather was expected to send as many as 1 million people to beaches in and around Los Angeles, backing up freeways near the coast.

The heat wave, which began Friday, was expected to continue until Tuesday, the weather service said.

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