LOS ANGELES — Temperatures soared into the 90s from Los Angeles to San Diego and up the Central Coast on Wednesday, while much of the rest of the state basked in unseasonably balmy weather.
The blazing sun beat down on skaters in shorts and T-shirts on an outdoor ice rink in downtown Los Angeles’ Pershing Square as the heat wave made Thanksgiving look more like summer than late fall.
“I didn’t know it’s going to be this hot. We knew it was a warm week but 90 surprised me,” said Christina Holmes, 48, of South Pasadena, who came to the rink with her husband and two sons.
As she laced up her skates, the Chicago native said ice skating and such warm weather was a bit surreal.
“It’s very LA,” she said. “You wouldn’t even think there’d be an ice rink in downtown Los Angeles.”
The heat set in Tuesday, breaking or tying records ranging from 91 at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to 81 at Santa Cruz on the north end of Monterey Bay.
The mercury began rising again Wednesday morning and by afternoon temperatures were well above normal seasonal averages.
The National Weather Service said the heat was spawned by upper-level high pressure off the coast of northern Baja California with a ridge extending into southwestern California.
Warmth extended out to the beaches as offshore flow pushed the normal cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean away from the coast.
A high of 99 degrees was recorded at the airport in Camarillo, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of downtown Los Angeles, shattering the date’s previous record of 90 set in 2015 and topping the location’s all-time November record of 98 set in 2007, the NWS said.
Downtown Los Angeles hit a record 93 degrees — 22 degrees above normal — and topping the date’s old record of 89 in 1950.
Forecasters said the high pressure ridge was expected to weaken slightly Thursday but another rapid warm-up was expected in Southern California.
The highest temperature ever recorded on Thanksgiving in downtown Los Angeles was 90 degrees on Nov. 26, 1903.
“That record is in jeopardy,” the weather service said.
The San Francisco/Monterey weather office said conditions were also warm for this time of year across its region, especially south of San Francisco Bay, with many highs in the 80s and 70s.
“Definitely doesn’t feel like the 22nd of November!” the office tweeted.
Thanksgiving was likely to bring a chance of rain in the North Bay while elsewhere would remain dry, the NWS said.