Santa Ana hits a record 106, more heat coming this weekend

If you’re an Inland Orange County resident looking to escape the heat this weekend with a trip to the beach, you may want to save yourself the bumper-to-bumper drive.

The heat wave that led to 100-degree-plus temperatures in some Orange County cities Friday will abate slightly this weekend, but even beach cities are expecting higher-than-usual temperatures.

The high-pressure system centering over central California ratcheted up dry heat Friday. In fact, several Orange County cities broke 100 degrees and one broke a record, too.

Santa Ana recorded 106 degrees, shattering Santa Ana’s record of 102 set in 1988, said Brandt Maxwell of the National Weather Service. Yorba Linda and Lake Forest also reached 106, but no records were broken in those cities.

Fullerton and Anaheim reached 105 and 104 degrees, respectively. Even coastal Huntington Beach reached 100, Maxwell said. It was cooler at the San Clemente Pier, which hit 82.

While Santa Ana winds were mercifully absent, ocean breezes have been squelched so beach cities are expecting higher than usual temperatures as well as the weekend crowds they inevitably bring.

“We have all the elements: surf, heat, warm water, crowds,” Newport Beach lifeguard battalion chief Brent Jacobsen said Friday. “When you have all those contributing factors, we really have to take a look at what we’re preparing for.”

The department has been gearing up and will have a rescue boat, 10 patrol units and 15 lifeguard towers active at the city’s beaches. On a typical day, there would usually be about one tower at each popular site.

There were many more people on the beach Friday than he expected for this time of year, Jacobsen said.

“A lot of people were playing hooky.”

On Saturday, the beaches are expected to reach to the upper 80s, inland areas may still get to 100 degrees and the Santa Ana mountains will be anywhere from the mid- to upper 90s, said meteorologist Tina Stall of the National Weather Service. Sunday is expected to be slightly cooler but only by a three- to five-degree difference.

Stall said that while numbers are much higher than last year on these dates — the upper 70s — high heat is not strange for October.

“There was a heat wave during the first week of October last year so it’s not unheard of,” Stall said.

Real heat relief won’t arrive until Monday, forecasters said. A gradual cooling will knock temperatures down to the mid-80s the first half of the week.

After that? Showers are possible as early as Wednesday, as the remnants of a Baja storm circle north. This won’t be like Monday’s and Tuesday’s cool showers from up north, either, with temperatures likely to stay in the mid-80s.

Jacobsen noted another concern: surf is projected to hit as high as 6 feet in some places.

And, he warned beach-goers, be mindful of rip currents. The highest surf and strongest rip currents will be along South County beaches, according to forecasters. The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard advisory for rip tides through Sunday night.

To get out of a rip current, authorities say to swim parallel to the beach.

As for the heat, stay hydrated, wear loose clothing and take breaks from being out in the sun.

Staff Writer Louis Casiano Jr. contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: afausto@ocregister.com

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