Summer Rerun — SOUTH BAY: Unseasonably hot weather lures crowds to the beach and out for ice cream, but forecasters say cooler times are ahead.
Temperatures soared on Wednesday, sending Eiko Seno and her 14- month-old baby to seek refuge from the scorching sun by wading in the waters near the Redondo Beach pier.
Mother and son, Aska, took a dip in the waves, only to find that even the ocean was pretty warm.
“It’s crazy,” said Seno, of Redondo Beach. “I like it, but it’s almost December.”
Seno was among a small crowd of people making the most of the summerlike climate atthe beach. The mercury hit 90 degrees in parts of the South Bay on Wednesday, but weather experts said the unseasonable heat wave should start to cool down today.
For the rest of the week, temperatures are expected to be in the 70s.
The recent fall warmth is caused by the Santa Ana winds blowing the hot air from the upper atmosphere, said Bonnie Bartling, a weather information specialist from the National Weather Service.
“It’s typical this time of year to get the Santa Anas,” she said.
The absence of the marine layer, whichusually shields the coast from high temperatures, made the South Bay nearly as hot as inland areas.
The dry heat and the fast winds also create dangerous fire conditions, said Los Angeles Fire Battalion Chief Robert Franco. His fire department, like others throughout Southern California, is already poised to battle potential brush fires.
People should avoid cooking outdoors, throwing cigarette butts on the side of the road or “anything that could involve a spark.”
“A day like today, it could cause a brush fire,” Franco said.
Although it will be somewhat cooler during the rest of the week, he said residents shouldn’t let down their guard when it comes to fires because the Santa Ana winds are expected to last for three to four days.
Franco added that the windscould also be a problem if they knock down power lines.
The wind was not the problem for some utility company workerswho stopped by the Foster’s Freeze in Old Torrance for dipped ice cream cones.
“It’s too hot for November,” complained one, who didn’t want to be identified because he strayed 2miles off his route to find a cool treat.
Fred Beaghn of Gardena said the heat is unusual for this time of year, but nice.
“We’re enjoying the weather, and we stopped off and got ice cream,” he said.
The ice cream shop — which had scaled back on staffing for the winter — was extra busy serving the steady stream of customers.
Chuck Baldwin, whose wife, Joan, owns the Foster’s Freeze, said the sudden spate of business was “unexpected, but good.”
“We’re nothing but a weather store,” he said.
Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2002
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.