By Aaron Blevins, 7/12/2012
Pools and cooling centers offer heat relief
While Angelenos may be a bit toasty today, with temperatures hovering near 85 degrees in the shade in downtown Los Angeles, typical Southern California summer weather is expected to return this weekend.
National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Seto said the average July temperature for the area is 83 degrees, but a large, high-pressure system pushed thermometers near the 90s earlier this week. However, a low-pressure system is making its way to the area.
“We’ll see a very gradual cool down,” Seto said. “We’ll be back around normal over the weekend.”
Some residents sought relief at local pools, such as the Hollywood Pool & Waterslide on Cole Avenue. Public pools opened on June 23, and fittingly, local officials recently announced the continuation of “Operation Splash!”
The initiative, created through a partnership with the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks and Kaiser Permanente, supports swim programs, such as free swim lessons; junior lifeguard training; and an extended pool season.
“Operation Splash!” will be providing aquatic activities at the Hollywood pool and the pool at Pan Pacific Park. The pools are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. on the weekends. The Hollywood waterslide is open from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on weekends, but weekdays hours vary. Call (323)957-4501 for waterslide hours.
This summer will mark the last opportunity until 2014 that patrons will be able to make waves at the Hollywood pool. It will be undergoing a 14-month renovation at the conclusion of the summer season on Aug. 12.
On a similar note, Los Angeles County officials announced its list of cooling centers for seniors looking to escape the heat. The list includes the Hollywood Senior Center, 1360 N. Saint Andrews Place, and the Senior Lounge at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.
Barbara Linski, the director of the Hollywood senior center, said the facility offers a small library, TV, ping-pong, pool and Bingo for seniors looking to enjoy some cooler air.
“They’re welcome to stay inside and keep cool,” she said.
Linski said some senior center members have been sticking around a little longer during daily activities, likely to take advantage of the air conditioning. She said the center serves some low-income residents who do not have air conditioning.
“It’s a valuable service,” Linski said of the cooling centers. “It’s commendable of the county to announce these places.”
The senior center, however, is not open on the weekends. Other cooling centers, such as the one in Plummer Park, will be open from today until Monday, beginning at 9 a.m. each day. Residents can also dial 211 for cooling center locations and operating hours.
Officials advise residents to take precautions when going outdoors in hot weather. Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., reduce physical activity, wear a wide-brimmed hat and light clothing, avoid heavy meals, drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol, use sunscreen and don’t forget about pets.
Seto, of the National Weather Service, advised residents to be aware of heightened fire concerns. He also suggested drinking plenty of water and finding shade when available.