Summer is off to an especially toasty start in Los Angeles.
Average temperatures in July were among the hottest ever recorded during a July month in Southern California, according to the National Weather Service.
“It wasn’t crazy hotter than it’s ever been, but it was up there,” says Ryan Kittell, a forecaster with the Weather Service.
For some cities, it was the warmest July on record: Average temperatures, recorded throughout the entire day, reached 77.8 degrees in Long Beach, 87.2 degrees in Lancaster, and 87.8 degrees in Palmdale.
Temperature recording stations at LAX and UCLA measured the second-highest averages ever. The same was true in Burbank and Woodland Hills.
At LAX, the average temperature was half of a degree shy of a record set in 1959.
Kittell says strong high pressure systems and lower amounts of marine layer than the region typically gets contributed to the stifling heat.
A recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters found that 25 to 50 percent of LA’s cloud cover has dispersedsince the 1970s, contributing to higher temperatures in the area.
Still, Kittell says that marine layer “doesn’t follow a smooth pattern,” and predicting when it will or will not show up is difficult.
Also contributing to the steamy weather were high levels of humidity that contributed to unusually warm nights.
Multiple daily temperature records fell in July, including numerous minimum temperature marks. In other words, the low temperature recorded on those days was warmer than on any corresponding day in LA history.
Kittell says that higher nighttime temperatures can make a big difference for residents trying to recover from the stresses of high heat during the day.
“When it’s hotter in the daytime and it’s a little warmer at night than usual, you don’t get that relief at the end of the day,” says Kittell. “Even if it’s only a few degrees, you’ll feel the difference.”
Experts say the heat is contributing to longer and more severe periods of fire risk across the state. Firefighters are battling at least a dozen different blazes across the state.
Angelenos looking for a break from the heat may not find it in August. NWS is forecasting another heat wave starting Sunday, including balmy evening temperatures.