Thermal hit a record high of 97 degrees on Wednesday.
That edged out the previous March 13 record of 96 degrees, which had been set in 1997, according to the National Weather Service.
That compares to the normal of 81 degrees.
Meanwhile, temperature hit 95 degrees at the Palm Springs International Airport, the second weather station in the valley.
That was 17 degrees warmer than normal, but shy of the record of 98 degrees set in 2007.
Temperatures on Thursday could hit near the day’s record of 96 degrees set March 14, 1972.
“It’s going to be pretty darn close to the record,” AccuWeather.com meteorologist Ken Clark said late Thursday morning. “I could see that being reached or even surpassed.”
While Southern California has been the hottest place in the nation, temperatures will gradually begin dropping to a projected high of 87 degrees by Sunday, Clark said.
Temperatures in the valley could drop back down to normal — and even cooler than normal — within the next 10 days, Clark said.
- Thermal hit a record-breaking 100 degrees on Thursday, making it the hottest place in the U.S.
- Browse this interactive map to see the hottest places in the world.