Environment & Science

Hot and dry: Here's why LA's weather is just like your Thanksgiving turkey

A roasted Thanksgiving turkey.
A roasted Thanksgiving turkey.
Tim Sackton via Flickr/Creative Commons

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It's Thanksgiving time, but the weather outside is more reminiscent of Independence Day. Temperatures today and tomorrow could hit record highs.

Forecasters say the mercury could reach 92 on Wednesday and 90 on Thursday, which would be a tie for the hottest Thanksgiving on record, which was 90 degrees on November 26, 1903.

There are a couple of things you can blame here.

There's an unusually strong high pressure ridge over Baja California, and another high pressure system over the Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains.

The ridge over Baja blocks storms and cold air from sweeping down from the North, and as it sits over the area, air sinks, warms and raises the temperature.

The high pressure ridge over the Great Basin is resulting in a weak offshore flow. That means the cold, dry air is traveling over open land, over the mountains and down into the coastal areas. As it descends, the air compresses, heats up and pushes back agains the natural offshore cooling that our ocean offers.

The good news is that things should begin to cool by Friday.