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    California bakes in record heat

    By Mason Stockstill

    LOS ANGELES - Winter doesn't even give way to spring until March 20, but California baked in summerlike heat Monday as temperatures soared to record highs.

    Downtown Los Angeles, with mountains to the east still capped in snow from a storm last week, topped out at 93 degrees, 24 above normal. That broke the 1996 record of 89 for March 8, the National Weather Service said.

    A 112-year-old mark fell in downtown San Francisco when the temperature hit 82, besting the record of 78 set in 1892. Sacramento tied its 1953 record for the date with a high of 80.

    They were among dozens of locations up and down the state reporting highs at record levels. San Diego missed tying its record by one degree but at 84 was 18 degrees above normal.

    High pressure created a warming Santa Ana wind condition and summerlike weather as offshore air flow out of the northeast pushed back the cooling ocean influence.

    At Los Angeles' Venice Beach, few gathered on the hot sand but plenty of people bicycled and skated on the boardwalk.