Summerlike heat has Californians itching for return to normalcy amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

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As the number of new COVID-19 cases across the state of California continues to climb, some outdoor recreational businesses and activities are itching to return to normalcy as summerlike heat begins to build in across the state.

As temperatures soared into the 90s F across portions of the Los Angeles Basin over the weekend, residents were seen flocking to area beaches despite stay-at-home orders in place.

As the heat began to ramp up in Southern California, city officials in Malibu reminded residents that all beaches, parks, trails and parking areas in the city remain closed, and they urged people in neighboring communities to not travel to Malibu amid the warm weather.

Ahead of the warm weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom told residents that despite the nice weather, it was important to stay home and practice social distancing.

“California can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing,” the governor said Friday. “You have the power to literally save lives.”

Beach closures across Southern California have been put in place on a county-by-county basis and currently, all beaches across Los Angeles County remain closed. However, some beaches across surrounding Ventura and Orange counties remain open, attracting beachgoers who want to take advantage of the early season warmth.

Although temperatures have soared into the 80s and 90s inland from the coast, a refreshing sea breeze kept most immediate coastal towns sitting comfortably in the 70s over the weekend.

Although temperatures have soared into record territory across portions of California in recent days, plenty of snowpack remains in place across the high terrain courtesy of a series of late-season storm systems.

One more sign of a return to normalcy across the state in the midst of the ongoing pandemic was the reopening of Southern California’s Mt. Baldy Ski Resort in San Bernardino County last week.

Mt. Baldy is currently the only ski resort open in the nation. The resort is operating at about 10% capacity and has requested that only advanced (or better) skiers and snowboarders attend because many of the lessons typically offered for the less experienced are not currently being offered.

Some Southern California golf courses have also began the reopening process in recent days as the record-challenging heat settled in. Again, courses reopening remain on a county-by-county basis, with all courses in Los Angeles County remaining closed.

The powerful ridge of high pressure that promoted the summerlike temperatures over the weekend across California will remain relatively unchanged for a majority of the week, promoting a continuation of well above-average temperatures.

The same area of high pressure will also challenge many record-high temperatures across a wide swath of the western United States into midweek.

As many of the typical outdoor activities sought after in order to beat the heat remain altered or closed due to COVID-19, many Californians will need to seek out air-conditioned space inside. Unfortunately, that will mean an uptick in electric bills for many.

Sacramento and Fresno, along with many other cities in the San Joaquin Valley observed their first 90-degree day of the year this past weekend. While slightly cooler air limited some cities from feeling another 90-degree day on Monday, another reinforcing push of warm air will push the mercury higher into midweek.

While temperatures will be seasonably mild through midweek in San Francisco and across the Bay Area courtesy of the ridge of high pressure, weak onshore flow off the Pacific Ocean will promote areas of coastal low clouds overnight and during the morning hours, preventing temperatures from reaching potentially dangerous levels.

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