Record-breaking heat wave hits western USA for Thanksgiving

Heat records toppled Tuesday in the San Fernando Valley, and more may fall in the days ahead across Southern California as highs in the 90s rage on through the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the National Weather Service.

Fresno reached 76 degrees in the 3 o'clock hour Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Some heat records for a November 21 were set in Los Angeles County Tuesday, including 91 in Burbank, topping the 88 set in 2002; 91 in Woodland Hills, besting the 89 set in 2002; and 74 in Sandberg, compared to 70 in 1995.

It's being caused by an upper-level ridge of high pressure that has parked itself over Southern California, trapping warm desert air.

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Sunshine will warm our afternoon temperatures into the mid-60s, but with light and variable winds, it will feel significantly warmer than it did for our Thanksgiving afternoon. It will be cooler than Wednesday - especially along the coast - but still hot and dry. This will begin to bring temperatures down a notch Monday, with Valley highs in the low 80s.

Records for November 23 temperatures were also set in Long Beach (90 degrees) and at Los Angeles International Airport (91 degrees), where both the previous records had been set in 1990, the agency said. The normal average high for this time of the year is 72 degrees.

In Burbank (88 degrees), Camarillo (92 degrees) and Oxnard (91 degrees), records that had been set in 1950 were all shattered. Long Beach is expected to top out at 89 degrees; the record high was 85 in 1990.

Heat records also are set to be eclipsed Thursday in San Diego and Riverside counties, too.

  • Megan Austin