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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 8:23 pm | Fair 53º


Caution Urged as Dense Fog Rolls Onto South Coast

Visibility at Santa Barbara Airport reported to be a quarter-mile; conditions likely to persist until midnight

Patchy dense fog has rolled ashore along Santa Barbara County’s South Coast, and the National Weather Service said the conditions will remain until around midnight Sunday. Motorists are urged to use caution.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, the Santa Barbara Airport reported dense fog and visibility of a quarter-mile. Flights were operating normally, however.

Roadways near the ocean are likely to be the most affected, especially from Santa Barbara’s Mesa west to the Gaviota coast. Authorities cautioned motorists to slow down while driving, maintain plenty of distance between vehicles and use low-beam headlights.

The fog is expected to dissipate early Monday but is forecast to reappear Monday night and into Tuesday.

Meanwhile, weather officials are watching a strong storm system that has developed in the central Pacific Ocean. The system has generated a large groundswell that will create high surf conditions Tuesday and continue through Wednesday.

Along the Central Coast, high surf of 10 to 15 feet is forecast, with locally higher sets. West-facing beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are expected to see high surf of 6 to 10 feet.

The weather service said a second large storm system is expected to develop in the same central Pacific region as the first system. According to computer models, officials said even higher surf is possible beginning Thursday and continuing through the weekend.

Along the Central Coast, the second swell could produce surf heights of 14 to 20 feet along the Central Coast and 10 to 14 feet on west-facing beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Local coastal flooding is possible, as well.

Authorities are advising beach-goers, surfers and fishermen to be aware of surf conditions and dangerous rip currents accompanying the swells. Spectators are warned to stay off jetties and to not turn their backs to the surf.

Sunshine and daytime high temperatures in the 70s are forecast through Wednesday with clear skies and overnight lows in the 40s. Temperatures will cool down to the mid- to upper-60s through the weekend.

» Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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