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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:34 pm | Fair 58º


Heat Wave Brings Heightened Fire Danger Through Weekend

Hot, dry temperatures are expected to persist through the weekend, prompting the National Weather Service to warn of elevated fire danger across the Central Coast.

Strong winds will not accompany prolonged highs into the mid-80s and 90s, however, which hopefully will prevent a red flag warning from being issued, according to Joe Sirard, a weather specialist from the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Because vegetation is already so dry due to the drought, NWS issued the special weather statement Wednesday.

Temperatures throughout the Santa Barbara Coast and valley areas are expected to peak Saturday through Monday as a low-level onshore flow of high pressure passes through the area, according to Sirard.

“It’s running 10 to 15 degrees above normal,” he said. “But, in September, oftentimes we get these hot spells.”

Patchy morning clouds will give way to clear skies this weekend, where South Coast beaches are forecast to remain in the mid-70s and low-80s, he said.

The Santa Barbara and Santa Maria areas can expect highs in the mid-80s to low-90s beginning Saturday, although Sirard said it’s more likely heat records will fall in Southern California than anywhere locally.

The Santa Ynez Valley and mountain areas are expected to heat up well into the 90s and close to 100 degrees, Sirard said.

He said heat could lead to an increase in heat-related illnesses, especially among the young and elderly. Sirard encouraged locals to wear lightweight clothing, check on the elderly and to not overdo outdoor activities.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable for those without air conditioning,” Sirard said. “We advise folks to stay hydrated through the day and to try to stay in a cooler environment.”

Temperatures should drop off a bit Tuesday to coastal highs in the mid-70s and 80s, with the valley cooling to the 80s and 90s.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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