Continuing the heat trend from the weekend, temperatures on the South Coast broke triple digits Monday, leaving many Santa Barbara residents to wonder when the heat will let up. It doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon, although the extreme temperatures should break by Wednesday.
The National Weather Service says temperatures are expected to remain high throughout the rest of the week, and a red flag warning for parts of Santa Barbara County, including Los Padres National Forest, was in effect until Monday evening, signaling low humidity and high risk of fire.
Temperatures in downtown Santa Barbara were well over the 100-degree mark on Monday afternoon. Noozhawk received reports of temperatures reaching 107 at the Santa Barbara Mission and 112 in Montecito.
At 2 p.m. Monday, the Montecito Fire Protection District said its weather station reported a temperature of 110 degrees, relative humidity of 12 and winds of 12 mph. Sunday night, the station recorded winds of up to 35 mph.
Temperatures fluctuated wildly as dry winds off the mountains picked up Monday night. At 11 p.m., a reading of 93 degrees was reported in Montecito’s Riven Rock neighborhood; 30 minutes later, the temperature had fallen to 71 — a 22-degree difference.
A hazardous weather outlook has been issued for Santa Barbara County and officials encouraged South Coast residents to prepare an emergency plan.
Although the high-pressure system fueling the heat is expected to begin moving east Tuesday night, the weather service expects the heat and dry conditions to continue until next Monday. It cautioned people working or playing outdoors to be aware of the fire dangers, especially in the mountains and foothills.
Local emergency rooms haven’t seen an increase in heat-related incidents, according to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital spokeswoman Janet O’Neill. She advised residents to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of fluids, especially if taking a diuretic medication.
Officials at Southern California Edison urged customers to try to conserve power to help with grid reliability.
While the weekend conditions were warm, only one temperature record was set on the Central Coast. According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Cal Poly had a high temperature of 104 degrees Sunday, breaking the 1978 record of 102 degrees.
The American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter on Monday issued tips to help residents prepare for the possibility of wildfire:
» Contact your local fire department, health department or forestry office for information on fire laws.
» Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
» Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
» Post emergency telephone numbers close to your phone.
» Ask to see a copy of your child’s school emergency plan.
» Plan several escape routes away from your home, office and school — by car and by foot.
» Speak with your company human resources director about fire safety plans in the workplace.
» Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together before, during and after a wildfire.
» Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can’t get home.
For Your Home
» Landscape your house with fire-resistant plants such as hardwood trees and succulents.
» Create a 100-foot safety zone around your property.
» Mow grass regularly.
» Keep appropriate tools near gas, water and electricity sources so you can turn them off in the event of a fire.
» Prearrange several meeting places in case of separation during commotion.
» Network with neighbors and find out who has special needs or skills.
» Plan for pet survival needs.
» Take first aid and CPR courses from your American Red Cross.
» Prepare a disaster kit. Your kit should contain food and water for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, copies of important personal documents and more. Click here to purchase a ready-made, Red Cross disaster kit.
When Wildfire Threatens
» Listen on a battery-powered radio for evacuation information.
» If authorities advise you to evacuate, do so immediately.
» Prepare pets for evacuation.
» Park car pointed in direction of escape and leave keys in ignition.
» When evacuating, take your disaster kit.
— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.