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Extreme heat scorches San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A heat wave that settled in across the Southland over the weekend kept much of the San Diego area sweltering Monday amid temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal for late summer.

Several desert and inland-valley locales logged afternoon highs in the triple digits, including 114 degrees in Ocotillo Wells, 111 in Borrego Springs, 110 in Valley Center, 104 in Campo and 105 in Ramona, according to meteorologists. The latter community tied its record high for the date, set in 1981.

The maximum thermometer readings in a few other local areas, according to the National Weather Service, came close to topping the 100 mark -- 99 degrees in El Cajon and San Pasqual Valley; 98 in Alpine; and 96 in Escondido.

Conditions were considerably more pleasant closer to the ocean, with temperatures ranging from the high 60s to high 70s near the waterfront, and up into the mid-80s a bit farther east.

As a public-safety measure, an NWS excessive-heat warning for the county's inland valleys, western foothills and deserts will run through 10 p.m. Friday. A less serious heat advisory will be in effect for local coastal communities over the same period.

The hot spell, a byproduct of a huge high-pressure system moving south from northern to southern Nevada, reached San Diego County's deserts on Sunday, is expected to peak over the next several days.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, record highs are expected in various local areas, among them Chula Vista, Ramona and San Diego, forecasters said.

Due to the extreme heat, numerous public schools across the county will be on minimum-day schedules Tuesday, officials said.

The weather should be slightly cooler from Thursday into the weekend, though temperatures will remain well above average for this time of year, the NWS advised.

The agency reminded the public to never leave children or pets unattended in cars; to drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar and caffeine; to wear light-colored clothing and wide-brimmed hats outdoors; and to take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.