Santa Barbara and the Central Coast were smothered in record-breaking heat Wednesday, as temperatures in coastal and inland areas soared, reaching triple digits in many places.
Santa Barbara County is expected to see a break from the heat by Saturday, when temperatures will likely drop back into the mid 70s, according to the National Weather Service.
But Thursday and Friday are expected to continue the heat.
On Wednesday, the mercury rose to record-breaking heights across the region, with the Santa Barbara airport reporting 98 degrees just after 2 p.m., exceeding the previous record set in 1970 by 8 degrees.
Santa Maria recorded 100 degrees earlier in the day, around 11:30 a.m., also breaking a record for that location — 92 set in 1922.
Paso Robles also saw a record heat of 100 degrees, and Oxnard recorded another record with 102 degrees.
Thursday temps are expected to rise again into the 90s in coastal areas and reach triple digits inland.
Friday, the temperatures are expected to drop into the mid 80s, but winds may pick up and could gust as high as 20 mph.
The combination of low relative humidity and high temperatures has been a fire concern for the area.
Fire crews announced Wednesday evening that they had contained about 80 percent of a 600-acre vegetation fire that broke out in Lompoc on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service also said that a number of Southern California cities had broken their high temperature records on Wednesday, and encouraged people to drink plenty of fluids and not to leave children or pets in vehicles, even for a short time.