National Weather Service officials at the regional base in Oxnard monitored the official Downtown reading on Monday as it reached, then passed the old record of 112 degrees — then saw the meter had broken down. They rushed an electronics technician to the USC campus, where the "Downtown" measurement has been taken in recent years, but were forced to admit later that the day may actually have been hotter than 113. But that's the number that goes in the books. Weather records, after all, aren't about how hot it actually was or about how much rain actually fell — they're about what got recorded. "Today was a once-in-a-century day," said JPL climatologist Bill Patzert. Well, unless it's as hot tomorrow.
By the way, the Los Angeles city and county record remains the 119 recorded at Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006. And it was hotter here today than at Indio, in the desert southeast of Palm Springs.