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HOT WEATHER COMES TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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Laid-back Southern California finally got its two hottest days of the year - more than a week into fall.

The temperature in downtown Los Angeles reached 100 on Tuesday, shattering an 85-year-old record for the date, and climbed to 99 Wednesday, matching that date's 85-year-old mark. Palm Springs was the nation's hot spot Wednesday with a high of 113.More 90-plus weather was forecast for Thursday and Friday as a high-pressure system holds hot air over Southern California.

"Maybe it's because we're too close to the sun," speculated 5-year-old Tommy Rogins of Newbury Park.

Officials planned to close dozens of schools in Orange and Los Angeles counties Thursday because of the heat.

In Thousand Oaks, Weathersfield Elementary School instructors turned the lights off to give their cranky students the illusion of lower temperatures, fifth-grade teacher Cheryl Lomen said. The school is not air-conditioned.

"It's always pretty warm when school starts, but this is outrageous," she said. "We're supposed to be teaching, and the kids are falling asleep."

"We sold 80 tons of ice today instead of our normal 38," said Bob Benedetto of North Hollywood Ice Co.