California Sizzles in February Heatwave

A heatwave was bringing unseasonably high temperatures to California on Thursday, sending sun-worshippers to the beach, but also sparking a brushfire.

Forecasters issued a heat warning for the most populous US state through to Sunday, warning the mercury could hit a height-of-summer 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in Los Angeles, well above the average for winter.

California, in common with much of the western United States, is enduring a historic drought and wild swings in weather that scientists say is exacerbated by man-made climate change.

“If you warm the planet, you’re going to break heat records,” said geographer Justin Mankin of Dartmouth College.