Unusual clouds added to a spectacular sunset along the Santa Barbara coast on Tuesday, a day that saw a high-temperature record set. Forecasters say more records are likely over the next few days. (Ronald Williams photo)

Santa Barbara set a new high-temperature mark on Tuesday, and National Weather Service forecasters say more records are possible in the next few days.

A reading of 84 degrees was taken at the Santa Barbara Airport on Tuesday afternoon, beating out the record for March 23 of 83 set in 1988.

Temperatures in the low to mid-80s are expected over the next several days along the coast, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Friday may offer the best bet for new records on the Central Coast, Seto said.

Santa Barbara is forecast to hit 83 on Friday, within striking distance of the record of 85 set in 1988, Seto said.

Santa Maria has even a better chance, with a high of 85 forecast compared with the current record of 83 set in 1923.

The Santa Ynez Valley is likely to be even hotter, with highs pushing 90, Seto said.

Offshore winds and a high-pressure system expected to move through the region are responsible for temperatures that are running 15 to 20 degrees above normal, Seto said.

Some mountain areas may see winds up to 20 mph over the next couple of days, but nothing like the gusts that whipped parts of Santa Barbara County on Tuesday. A gust of 79 mph was recorded in the Montecito foothills Tuesday night, Seto said.

No rain is in the forecast for the next seven days, Seto said, although he added that the 90-day outlook shows a 50-50 chance of above-normal rainfall.

Santa Barbara has received less than half an inch of rain in March and stands at 54 percent of normal precipitation for the rain season that began Sept. 1.

Fire officials are warning that the above-normal temperatures and lack of rainfall have heightened the fire danger, and are urging residents to use extra caution.

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Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

High winds Tuesday night shattered a second-floor window at the Westmont College library. A gust of 79 mph was recorded Tuesday night in the Montecito foothills. (Victoria Sanchez / KEYT News photo)
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Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com.