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Toasty Weather, Gusty Winds Expected to Continue Saturday in Santa Barbara County

Triple-digit highs are likely in some foothill and inland areas, with possible record high temperatures

The beach was the place to beat the heat in Santa Barbara on Friday, and Saturday is expected to also be toasty. Click to view larger
The beach was the place to beat the heat in Santa Barbara on Friday, and Saturday is expected to also be toasty. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A potentially dangerous heat wave, with triple-digit highs expected in some mountain and foothill areas, is forecast for Saturday across Santa Barbara County.

Friday brought a high of 95 degrees to the Montecito foothills, according to Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Santa Maria recorded a high of 78 on Friday, while Santa Barbara climbed to 86 degrees and San Marcos Pass hit 91 degrees.

As of 7:30 p.m., the temperature was 99 degrees near Figueroa Mountain, Sirard said, after a high Friday of 104 degrees.

A heat record could be set Saturday at the Santa Barbara Airport; the record for the date is 89 set in 1992, and the forecast calls for temperatures near 90.

Friday's high temperature at the airport was 77, Sirard said.

According to the Western Regional Climate Center, the average high in July in Santa Barbara is between 74 and 75 degrees.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning that will be in effect until 11 p.m. Saturday for Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria.

“We have an excessive heat warning for the mountain and foothill areas — that means dangerous heat — maybe not near the beaches, but in the lower elevations it could be hot and dangerous,” Sirard said. “Folks that are thinking of hiking, going to the mountains or the Santa Ynez Valley — it’s going to be hot.”

The thermometer is expected to crank up the hottest temperatures between 100 and 110 degrees away from the coast, with daytime temperatures of 90 degrees over some inland coastal sections. 

Evening temperatures are forecast to remain warm, with overnight temperatures not dropping below 70 degrees in many locations.  Lows will be in the 80s in the foothills, with windy conditions in the canyon areas.

Sunday should bring 5 to 10 degrees of cooling, but remain hot in some locations. Additional heat advisories may be issued.

Dangerous heat is expected across much of southwest California through Saturday. 

“The heat could increase life-threatening heat-related illness,” Sirard said.

Forecasters urge people to take extra precautions if spending time outside, rescheduling strenuous activities to early morning or evening hours, and never leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles — even for a short period of time.

“Use common sense if you are in the heat,” Sirard said. “Drink plenty of fluids and try to stay in air-conditioned areas.”

Santa Barbara County's South Coast has been included in the NWS wind advisory until 3 a.m. Saturday.

Areas of the northwest to north winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph were expected through late Friday night. The strongest wind gusts of 50 mph are forecast in the foothills and through western passes and canyons.

When driving in forceful winds, forecasters say, use extra caution and be prepared for sudden gusty cross winds.

The weather service has added to the Red Flag Warning for fire danger issued Friday evening through Saturday morning and possibly into Sunday morning.

Powerful gusts were predicted west of Goleta during late Friday afternoon and evening. Winds were expected to shift to the north and northeast overnight from San Marcos Pass east through Montecito and Carpinteria.

Winds are not expected to be as strong Saturday afternoon and evening but likely will be hot and dry.

Gusty sundowner winds, low humidity and the heat wave may create critical weather and bring elevated fire conditions.

The weather has prompted the NWS to issue a fire watch from Saturday afternoon through late Saturday night for Santa Barbara County, particularly the mountain areas and South Coast.

NWS forecasters will re-evaluate local weather conditions Saturday and decide if another warning is needed.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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