KEEPING HEAT AT ARM'S LENGTH.
Pass the lemonade and crank up the air conditioning: More hot and muggy weather is expected to blanket the San Fernando Valley today.
The National Weather Service is predicting partly cloudy skies today with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoons.
Valley highs are expected to range from the 90s to 104 degrees. Tonight, it will be partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and lows in the 60s to upper 70s.
``It's typical July weather,'' said Bill Hoffer, NWS spokesman.
But additional humidity - a byproduct of Hurricane Emily in Mexico - makes it feel hotter than it is, he said.
The only temperature record set Saturday was 86 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, which beat the date's previous record of 84 set in 1974. The San Fernando Valley was much hotter, though it set no records: 103 at Woodland Hills, 100 at Northridge and Chatsworth, 95 in Van Nuys and 94 degrees in Burbank.
Thunderstorms struck Saturday over the San Gabriel Mountains and in the Antelope Valley, where wind gusts of 100 mph were measured north of the community of Lake Los Angeles.
All over the Southland Saturday, people stayed indoors, headed for a refreshingly cool swimming pool, or took in a movie in an air-conditioned theater.
But Savannah Hicks, 6, of Tujunga wanted to celebrate her birthday at the Sunland Park, so that's where her mother, Jeanil Goldfeather, 24, and about a dozen other friends and relatives gathered for a barbecue Saturday, sitting under the shade and hoping for a cool breeze.
``She loves this park,'' said Goldfeather as the children gulped fruit punch and waited to have a turn at a 4-foot-tall Dora the Explorer piata. ``She comes here every day; she chose this instead of Disneyland.''
Although all of the city's senior citizen centers were open Saturday to provide air-conditioned relief from the sweltering heat outside, city staff reported few seniors taking advantage of it.
Ellen Hemenway, recreation assistant at the Sunland Center, said 12 people came the previous Saturday, and only four this Saturday.
``There are no lunches, and no activities; they're just open for people to come in and get cool,'' Hemenway said. ``Most people would rather stay home, get something to eat, and go to the library to cool off.''
But both Broya Holcomb, 81, of Sunland and John Feher, 75, of Tujunga were happy to escape their unair-conditioned homes to read books at the center - Holcomb, a book on mathematics, and Feher, a nutrition book.
``Heat doesn't bother me; I'm OK up to 80, 90 degrees,'' Feher said, adding that Saturday's temperatures were too much. After a few hours in the air conditioning, however, he joked, ``I am freezing almost! I forgot to bring a (long-sleeved) shirt!''
And, if few elderly people were using the North Hollywood center, that was fine with Tristan Rogers, 13, of Hollywood. He and his friends took advantage of the empty, air-conditioned center to practice their basketball skills.
``It's hot; it's crazy,'' Tristan said. ``It's hard to do anything. You want to play outside, but it's just too hot, and you're always sweating.
``But it's summer in L.A. This is how it is.''
All of the city's senior citizen centers will be open again today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and free bottled water will be provided. For more information, call (310) 548-7671.
Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
--Drink plenty of fluids.
--Limit outdoor activities.
--Dress in cool, loose clothing.
--Cut down on exercise and rest often.
Tristan Rogers, 13, of Hollywood practices basketball drills in the cool of the Senior Citizens Center in North Hollywood Park on Saturday.
Alex Collins/Special to the Daily News
KEEPING COOL (see text)
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jul 24, 2005|
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