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Hot Weather, Gusty Winds Headed for Santa Barbara County Areas

It may be well into fall, but summer-like weather conditions are headed to the Santa Barbara County South Coast and mountains this week.

A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 3 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday, meaning gusty winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity will greatly increase the chance that a fire could spark or quickly spread.

A wind advisory will be in effect until 3 a.m. Wednesday, said Stuart Seto, a National Weather Service weather specialist.

North to northeast winds are expected at 15 to 30 mph, with gusts in the canyons and passes as high as 45 mph.

Isolated gusts through the Montecito hills could be as high as 55 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Relative humidity is forecasted to drop below 20 percent, with single digits possible in the mountains.

The winds and low humidity, along with the dry fuel in the Santa Barbara front- and back-country and increasing temperatures, are particularly conducive to fire.

After Tuesday's high of 84, Wednesday in Santa Barbara is expected to reach 87. Thursday is forecasted to be the hottest day of the week at close to 95.

Thursday's forecast of 90 at the Santa Barbara Airport would be four degrees short of 1964's record, Seto said.

The forecasted 93 that day in Santa Maria would be three degrees short of that city's own 1964 record.

Seto said that dry, offshore sundowner winds sink as they blow across the South Coast's mountains and passes, increasing barometric pressure and raising temperatures.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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