TJ Purnell enjoys a cold vanilla ice cream from the OC Fair's ice cream truck at the Volcom Skate Park. (Don Leach, Daily Pilot / July 15, 2010)

COSTA MESA — Shade, anywhere it was available, was the place to be Thursday as residents tried to cope with the first sweltering heat of the summer.

Costa Mesa offered the local senior center as a cooling zone, and the community pool was open briefly for some lap swimming, city officials said. The pool will be open today to non-lap swimmers.

Public safety officials in Newport-Mesa offered some general tips for people to avoid being too affected by the summer sun. The public should avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate, and should wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

The National Weather Service said the high in Costa Mesa Thursday was 86 degrees. The weather along the coast in Newport Beach was only a few degrees cooler.

According to the weather service, temperatures are expected to drop through Sunday and return to seasonal averages by Monday. The heat was even more oppressive inland, getting into the triple digits, including up to 115 in the desert.

Newport Beach and Costa Mesa fire department officials said there were no reported medical emergencies from the heat.

Regardless, public safety officials recommend that people avoid strenuous activity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. while it stays unusually warm.

It will continue to be sunny through the weekend with some light winds helping to cool people off, according to the weather service website.

The global temperatures in the six-month period from January to June was second warmest on record since 1880 and the warmest June on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.