Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
The Heat of Summer will most likely reach its feverish peak in inland San Diego County during the month of July. (Coastal San Diego is different: since its weather is greatly affected by the slowly warming mass of ocean water adjacent to it, coastal temperatures usually peak in August or September.) The weather station at Borrego Springs commonly measures midsummer highs in the 110s Fahrenheit (the record high is 122¡, a reading set on June 25, 1990), but certain locales in the low-lying, barren basins of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park -- notably the Borrego and Carrizo badlands -- probably experience even higher temperatures. Overnight camping in the desert in summer is a relatively carefree exercise. Little or no shelter is needed and early-morning temperatures are delightfully tepid. Prospective explorers of the desert in summer should take along enormous quantities of water and inform a responsible person of their whereabouts.