New heat records could be set in Santa Barbara County heading into the weekend, which will warm up because of sundowner winds and a high pressure system.
Previous high temperature records will be most vulnerable Thursday, when downtown Santa Barbara is expected to heat up to 93 degrees and Santa Maria will warm to nearly 80, according to Scott Sukup, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Those highs could topple Santa Barbara’s 82-degree record, set in 2006, or at least match the 84 degrees Santa Maria recorded in 2006.
“It stays pretty warm through the weekend,” Sukup said, noting that temperatures will linger in the low 80s and upper 70s throughout the county.
Temperatures in the Santa Ynez Valley were forecast to remain in the 90s all weekend.
There is a wind advisory issued for the county's South Coast through midnight Wednesday, which is when Sukup says the risk of sundowner winds would begin decreasing.
Wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour were expected, mostly in the canyon and passes areas, he said.
Claiming a place in the record books is less likely this weekend, when Santa Barbara and Santa Maria both simmer back to highs near 80 degrees.
The heat records for Santa Barbara this weekend include 89 for Friday (set in 1979) and 96 for Saturday (1977), according to National Weather Service data. In Santa Maria, the record for Friday is 87 (2006) and 89 for Saturday (1977).
Sukup said locals could expect temperatures to warm up again by the middle of next week, climbing into the mid-80s.