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SoCal heat wave: Beach temperatures to reach lower 90s, 100s in the valleys

File photo: Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach.
File photo: Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach.
Jed Kim/KPCC

Southern California will continue to experience a heat wave with temperatures reaching the mid-90s to 100s in the valleys, and 90s along coastal areas and beaches.

The warmest day of the week will likely be Thursday, says National Weather Service meteorologist Stuart Seto.

The root cause of the heat wave is strong high pressure areas and late season Santa Ana winds, according to Seto.   

RELATED: Hot, dry, windy days await Southern California (updated)

Normal temperatures will start to return on Sunday.

“Looks like the first almost normal day will be Sunday," Seto said. "Temperatures in Pasadena will be down to 78 and downtown will be down to 74.”

On Tuesday, Santa Barbara broke an old record and hit 85 degrees; Santa Maria reached 94 degrees.

Seto urges the public to take extra precautions in the heat.

“Be very careful out there today," Seto said. "Have extra water on hand … If you’re in the actual sunshine, it’s up to 15-20 degrees hotter.”

The coolest areas will not be at the beach, but rather, cities like Lancaster and Palmdale, which will be in the upper 70s.

"It is going to be windy out there, so watch out for that, and there's debris and stuff in the road. Be prepared for power outages and keep your pets safe; don’t leave them in cars,” said Seto.

A red flag warning is in effect and may last until 8 p.m. Thursday night.