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Record heat wave cooks LA, Southern California

LOS ANGELES — Among the things Southern Californians had to be thankful for Thursday were record temperatures high enough to send people flocking to beaches to work off those Thanksgiving Day calories.

In downtown Los Angeles, the high was 91 degrees, the warmest for a Thanksgiving Day since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1877.

The previous record Thanksgiving Day high was 90, set on Nov. 26, 1903.

Elsewhere, it reached 93 degrees by mid-afternoon in the Orange County city of Fullerton. It was also 93 at Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley.

Temperatures ranged from the low to mid-80s in the normally cooler coastal areas to the mid-90s in valleys.

The high temperature was 86 at Laguna Beach by midafternoon

The heat wave, which began Wednesday, was expected to begin breaking up Friday, with high temperatures for downtown Los Angeles expected to drop to the mid-80s. The trend was expected to continue through the weekend, with the high falling to about 80 on Saturday and into the mid-70s, more normal for this time of year, on Sunday.

Temperatures were expected to remain in the 80s in the valleys near Los Angeles through the weekend.

The unseasonably warm weather is being caused by an upper-level ridge of high pressure that has parked over Southern California, trapping warm desert air.

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