The beach continues to be the place to be for Santa Barbara County residents, as the Central Coast experiences one of the hottest stretches of weather of this summer.
However, the National Weather Service says temperatures should drop slightly in the next couple days, offering some respite from the sweltering conditions.
The NWS issued an excessive heat warning that will remain in effect through 8 p.m. Monday for much of the Central Coast area.
But NWS meteorologist Joe Sirard said significant relief from the heat is not in the near-term forecast.
Temperatures for the rest of the week will be “hot, but not excessively hot” for Santa Barbara county, Sirard said, adding that temperatures will start to gradually lower beginning Tuesday, and that the worst of the heat wave was probably the end of last week.
Sirard said there is also a slight chance of thunderstorms in northern Santa Barbara County near the Ventura County border, but skies should remain clear for most of the area through at least next Monday.
According to a NWS special weather statement, the best place to be during dangerous heat such as today is near the ocean, where temperatures remain significantly lower than inland.
“The only escape from the current heat wave will remain at the beaches, where highs will generally be in the seventies,” the report said. “However, interior portions of the coastal plain…are expected to climb above 90 degrees.”
Sirard said the local area most affected by the heat is the eastern Santa Ynez Valley, where unofficial data from automated weather stations is showing stretches of up to five days with temperatures of at least 110 degrees.
“This has definitely been the hottest stretch of the year for Santa Ynez Valley,” Sirard said.
During periods of dangerous heat such as these, the weather service advises people within these areas to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and wait out the hottest part of the day indoors.
“If possible, stay in an air-conditioned dwelling throughout the heat of the day — from around 12 to 6 pm. Drink plenty of fluids, try to dress in light colored clothing, and be sure no pets or kids are left inside hot vehicles,” Sirard said. “Heat stroke is a serious threat, and it can be deadly.”