‘We just try to keep our distance’: As heat wave scorches SoCal, many head to the beach to cool down

Weather

The heat will continue to soar in Southern California Sunday, a day after temperatures hit the triple digits in the inland areas and sent many people flocking to the beach.

On Saturday, temperatures reached 108 F in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, 106 F in the Antelope Valley, and 102 F in Ventura County. Anaheim broke its daily record at 99 F, and Riverside tied its own at 105 F.

Even coastal communities felt the heat, with Long Beach Airport recording a high of 94 F and Los Angeles International Airport reporting a high of 79 F.

Many people went to cool down in Santa Monica, where temperatures reached 80 F.

“It was like 105 degrees, it’s much nicer here,” said beachgoer Anastasia Pozdlnyakova, who’s originally from Russia but now lives in the San Fernando Valley.

People appeared to be following health guidelines, Pozdlnyakova said.

“We just try to keep our distance, mask on, and just breathe a little more fresh air,” she said.

Others came to the beach from places as far as Chicago and Fargo, North Dakota.

Southern California’s beaches closed in the earlier weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, then again over the July 4th weekend to prevent large gatherings.

Beaches in L.A. County reopened on July 6, with facial covering and social distancing rules to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Click here for the county’s beach guidelines.)

As of Saturday, the county has reported more than 130,000 positive cases. A total of 3,793 people, or about 2.9% of cases, have died.

Whether beaches will close again is ultimately up to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, according to the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Temperatures will likely break records again in a few areas Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Cities within reach of their records include Newport Beach at 82 F, Anaheim at 98 F, Riverside at 107 F and Palm Springs at 120 F.

Forecasters expect onshore winds to bring down temperatures by several degrees on Monday.

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