Summerlike heat has Californians itching for return to normalcy amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders
Air quality levels have improved in cities around the globe, but experts believe pollution from trucks and power plants is still a major concern.
As the number of new COVID-19 cases across the state of California continues to climb, some outdoor recreational business owners and residents were itching to return to normalcy as summerlike heat built across the region.
As temperatures soared into the 90s F across portions of the Los Angeles Basin this past weekend, residents were seen flocking to area beaches despite stay-at-home orders in place.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned residents that their behavior could extend the stay-at-home orders. Newsom said that while the state is weeks away from starting to gradually lift stay-at-home orders, crowded beaches could push back that goal, according to AFP. “We can't see images like we saw, particularly on Saturday, in Newport Beach and elsewhere," Newsom told reporters, referring to photos of people lining beaches in Southern California as the weather warmed up.
People sit on the beach Sunday, April 26, 2020, in Huntington Beach, Calif. A lingering heat wave lured people to California beaches, rivers and trails again Sunday, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress and bring the coronavirus surging back. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Although temperatures soared into the 80s and 90s inland from the coast this past weekend, a refreshing sea breeze kept most immediate coastal towns sitting comfortably in the 70s.
The heat continued through the first half of this week, with dozens of record highs broken or tied across the state.
The core of the heat is now shifting from California to the Desert Southwest and central U.S. into the weekend. While temperatures will still remain in the 80s across California's Central Valley and even into Southern California on Thursday, about 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, records will not be challenged outside of the deserts.
Instead, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Albuquerque, New Mexico, will have temperatures flirting with record high marks.
On Wednesday, Las Vegas tied its record warmest April day as the high temperature soared to 99.
A few desert locations in California also set new record highs at midweek.
Some Southern California golf courses began the reopening process as the intense heat settled in. Courses are reopening on a county-by-county basis, with all courses in Los Angeles County remaining closed.
As many of the typical outdoor activities sought after in order to beat the heat remain altered or closed due to COVID-19, people across the Southwest will need to seek out air-conditioned space inside. Unfortunately, that will mean an uptick in electric bills for many.
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