Southern Cal heat wave!

I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, and remember lots of hot September days. And fires. And good waves at the beach. But the heat wave this week was legendary.

Monday afternoon (9/27/10) the National Weather Service (NWS) issued the following:

THE HIGH TEMPERATURE IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES REACHED 113 DEGREES AT 1215 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON. THAT IS THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURE EVER
RECORDED IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1877. THIS
ALSO BREAKS THE RECORD FOR THE DAY OF 106 SET IN 1963.

That really got my attention. Later, NWS issued a much more detailed summary. Note that the highest temperatures were in the coastal valleys and coastal plains. This was not a true “Santa Ana” condition because the winds were fairly light. Klaus Wolter of NOAA said:

“Odd little hot snap, it was reached without Santa Ana winds (many of the
wind readings yesterday were calm), and came on the heels of a long cool summer
in this area. In fact, just on the 21st and 22nd, LA downtown was running highs
in the low- to mid-70s, well below normal. So, this was not the climax of a long
hot spell, like we saw in other places around the world this summer, but rather
out of the blue. Sort of like Colorado’s most damaging forest fire ever on Labor Day
after less than a month of dry conditions and six months of normal to wet conditions…”

So here’s the summary. Check out these numbers!

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
725 PM PDT MON SEP 27 2010

...IT WAS A SCORCHING SEPTEMBER DAY ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHWESTERN
CALIFORNIA...

THE COMBINATION OF UNSEASONABLY STRONG HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT AND WEAK
OFFSHORE LOW LEVEL FLOW MADE FOR AN EXTREMELY HOT DAY ACROSS MUCH
OF SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA TODAY. THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES...
GENERALLY BETWEEN 110 AND 113 DEGREES...WERE FOUND ACROSS INTERIOR
SECTIONS OF THE COASTAL PLAIN AND IN THE COASTAL VALLEYS...WHERE
COMPRESSIONAL HEATING OF THE AIR AS IT DESCENDED INTO LOWER
ELEVATIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE ADDED A FEW DEGREES TO THE
TEMPERATURES. THE TEMPERATURE REGIME TODAY WAS FAIRLY TYPICAL
OF WEAK OFFSHORE FLOW PATTERNS...WHERE THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES OFTEN
OCCUR IN THE LOWER VALLEYS AND ACROSS INTERIOR SECTIONS OF THE
COASTAL PLAIN WHERE THE SEA BREEZES ARE DELAYED. HOWEVER...THE
INTENSITY OF THE HEAT TODAY WAS RATHER EXTREME...RESULTING IN MANY
RECORDS FOR THE DATE...AS WELL AS SOME MONTHLY AND SOME ALL-TIME
RECORDS.

HERE IS A LIST OF HIGH TEMPERATURES TODAY AT OFFICIAL RECORD SITES
IN SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA...THE PREVIOUS RECORDS FOR THE DATE...
AND ALL TIME RECORDS AT THAT LOCATION. TEMPERATURES DENOTED WITH AN
ASTERISK BROKE OR TIED RECORDS FOR THE DATE...AND THOSE WITH TWO
ASTERISKS BROKE OR TIED ALL-TIME RECORDS.

                         HIGH     RECORD         ALL
                         TODAY    FOR THE        TIME
                                  DATE (YEAR)    RECORD (DATE)
                         -----   -----------    ----------------

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES     113**   106 (1963)     112  ( 6/26/1990)
LONG BEACH AIRPORT       111**   109 (1963)     111  (10/15/1961)
BURBANK AIRPORT          110*    104 (1963)     113  ( 9/12/1971)
WOODLAND HILLS           111*    107 (1993)     119  ( 7/22/2006)
LOS ANGELES AIRPORT      105*    105 (1963)     110  ( 9/26/1963)
SAN GABRIEL              110*    108 (1963)     112  ( 9/04/1988)
UCLA                     108*    104 (1963)     109  ( 9/20/1939)
LANCASTER AIRPORT        103*    103 (2003)     114  ( 7/18/1960)
PALMDALE  AIRPORT        102*    102 (2003)     113  ( 7/05/2007)
SANTA BARBARA AIRPORT    100*     99 (1970)     109  ( 6/27/1990)
SANTA MARIA AIRPORT      105*     99 (1917)     110  ( 6/20/2008)
PASO ROBLES AIRPORT      108*    105 (1963)     115  ( 6/14/2000)
SAN LUIS OBISPO CALPOLY  109*    104 (1993)     112  ( 9/14/1971)
OXNARD (NWS)             100*     99 (1963)     103  ( 9/24/1978)

HERE IS A LIST OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AT OTHER SITES AROUND
SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA TODAY...WITH UNOFFICIAL RECORDS WHERE
AVAILABLE

                                  UNOFFICIAL     UNOFFICIAL
                         HIGH     RECORD         ALL
                         TODAY    FOR THE        TIME
                                  DATE (YEAR)    RECORD (DATE)
                         -----   -----------    ----------------
PASADENA                 111     106 (1963)     113  ( 6/17/1917)
POMONA FAIRPLEX          111     107 (1963)     117  ( 6/17/1917)
OJAI                     112     104 (1963)     119  ( 6/16/1917)
SANTA BARBARA CITY       107     103 (1963)     115  ( 6/17/1917)
TORRANCE                 105     106 (1963)     111  ( 9/01/1955)

LOS ANGELES COUNTY
------------------
DEL VALLE                112
DUARTE                   112
CHATSWORTH               111
HAWTHORNE                111
CLAREMONT                111
NORTHRIDGE               110
GETTY CENTER             110
SAUGUS                   110
BELLFLOWER               109
LA CANADA                107
AVALON AIRPORT           104
SANTA MONICA AIRPORT     103

VENTURA COUNTY
--------------
SANTA PAULA              113
FILLMORE                 112
LAKE CASITAS             112
THOUSAND OAKS            110
MOORPARK                 110
SIMI VALLEY              109
PIRU                     108
CHEESEBORO               108
VENTURA                  104

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
--------------------
MONTECITO HILLS          112
SANTA YNEZ               109
VANDENBERG HILLS         104
LOMPOC                    99

SAN LUIS OBISPO CNTY
--------------------
SAN LUIS OBISPO ARPT     110
LAKE LOPEZ               110
CRESTON                  108
LAS TABLAS               108
ARROYO GRANDE            104
MORRO BAY                102
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About George Taylor

Climatologist, husband, father (3), grandfather (2)
This entry was posted in Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Southern Cal heat wave!

  1. Toasty! Glad I live in the Willamette Valley.

  2. Garron near washington square says:

    Very interesting pattern for down there indeed! My friend lives in 1000 oaks CA, and was trying to BBQ for his sons birthday party, and said it was a real scorcher after a summer full of cool days!

  3. I remember the 119 in Woodland Hills on 07-22-2006. This was the same day that the Portland area had dewpoints in the 70’s with temps in the low 90’s. To this day, that was the highest dewpoint I had ever seen living in this area. (since 1974). That evening parts of Clark county saw dewpoints peaking above 75 right around sunset. I vividly remember thin ground fog developing over Salmon Creek while the air temp was near 80. That was amazing.

    • That day was amazing. Here in Corvallis the low was 73 — the 2nd highest minimum temperature ever, in 120 years of record. The all-timer was 78 in 1911 (July 16), but I’m not sure I trust that number because of station siting issues. Regardless, the July 2006 event was truly extreme!

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