California averge temperature, 1895-2014. Graphic: NOAA

By Joseph Serna
12 September 2014

(Los Angeles Times) – The first eight months of 2014 were the warmest on average in California’s history since record-keeping began in 1895, federal scientists announced this week.

The average temperature was 62.6 degrees in California over the time period, coming in at 1.1 degrees hotter than the previous high and more than 4 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.

Meanwhile, the state continues to suffer through one of its worst droughts ever and a record-breaking heat wave is forecast for the weekend.

Temperatures across Los Angeles are expected to top out at 100 degrees through Monday.

“When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke," Jeffery Gunzenhauser, L.A. County's interim health officer, said in a statement. 

Others who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days, he added.

County health officials have declared a heat alert for the Los Angeles Basin and the San Gabriel, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita valleys. [more]

California breaks heat record since measurements began in 1895


A National Weather Service map forecasting peak California temperatures for 14 September 2014. Graphic: National Weather Service

By Joseph Serna
12 September 2014

(Los Angeles Times) – Dozens of cooling centers are opening across Los Angeles County as a potentially record-setting heat wave settles over Southern California.

Public health officials directed residents to a list with more than 60 libraries and community centers in L.A. County where people can find relief from the stifling heat.

With temperatures forecast to hit 100 degrees in downtown L.A. and up to 106 in areas like Woodland Hills when the heat wave peaks on Sunday, authorities are warning people to avoid strenuous activities in the middle of the day and to take precautions before it’s too late.

“When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke," said Jeffery Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for the county, said in a statement.

Others who are "frail" or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days, he added.

L.A. County has declared a heat alert for the Los Angeles Basin and the valleys of East San Gabriel, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita.

Even at the beaches, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s over the weekend, forecasters said. [more]

L.A. County heat alerts declared; cooling centers to open

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