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California was roasting under an autumn heat wave Friday, with many areas experiencing temperatures into the low 100s even as the rest of the country was unpacking winter clothes. "We're looking at temperatures in the mountains and the valleys between 100 to 106," said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.
The heat is being blamed on the Santa Ana Winds which become warmer as they blow across deserts from the colder Great Basin region of Utah and Nevada. Friday's forecast for Phoenix is 97, 3 degrees cooler than that for downtown Los Angeles. The forecast for Death Valley, California, which promotes itself as the hottest place on the planet, is 102. The forecast for the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles is 106. Los Angeles County is opening dozens of cooling centers at places like libraries and community centers and the fire department is on high alert for wildfires. Meanwhile, parts of the Rockies and sections of Utah and Northern Nevada are under frost warnings.