SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego area simmered under a blistering late- summer heat wave for another day Monday, sending people flocking to the beaches and into the refuge of air-conditioned buildings.
Many area schools cut classes short to allow students to head to cooler spots and planned to do the same Tuesday, which is expected to be similarly sweltering. Utility officials urged the public to scrimp on electricity during late morning and afternoon hours.
A high-temperature record was set in Ramona, where the maximum reading of 103 degrees beat the prior milestone of 101 for the date, set two years ago, according to the National Weather Service. Alpine, meanwhile, matched its Sept. 15 record of 102, first set in 1984.
An NWS heat advisory for the valleys will be in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday, as high pressure and a weak onshore air flow continue to send temperatures soaring.
"Abnormally hot temperatures can be stressful to animals and humans, making it hard for the body to acclimate and remain hydrated," according to the warning. "Without precautions even healthy adults could experience heat stress and illness."
While public schools in local valley areas generally have air conditioning, many of those closer to the coast do not. About 120 San Diego Unified School District campuses without full air conditioning had minimum-day schedules today, including Clairemont, Crawford, La Jolla, Madison, Mira Mesa, Mission Bay and University City high schools. After-school athletic activities were canceled at all city schools.
A full list of schools is available on the district's website, sandi.net.
Sweetwater Union High School District officials have implemented a minimum schedule at Mar Vista Academy, Castle Park and Hilltop middle schools, and Chula Vista, Mar Vista and Sweetwater high schools.
The Coronado and National school districts also implemented minimum days today and Tuesday.
More than 100 air-conditioned buildings like libraries and recreation centers were open to those trying to beat the heat. County "Cool Zones" are marked with a light-blue polar-bear logo. A list of county Cool Zones is available at CoolZones.org or by calling 211.
A "Cool Room" was set up at San Diego Christian College in Santee to help those without air conditioning stay cool.
The heat wave also prompted San Diego Gas & Electric to ask its customers to lighten the load on the electrical grid by reducing consumption between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. SDG&E customers who participate in the "Reduce Your Use" program could receive credit for doing so, according to the utility.
Forecasters advised area residents planning outdoor activities to schedule them for the cool of the morning or in evening, to take frequent breaks in shady or air-conditioned areas and to know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Those planning to be outside were advised to wear light, loose clothing and to drink plenty of water. Forecasters predicted that temperatures would cool Tuesday evening and Wednesday, though an "influx of monsoonal moisture from the south," thanks to Hurricane Odile over Baja California, would cause humidity to rise.