Oct 1, 2013 6:39 PM by Dave Hovde

Critical fire conditions develop for part of the Central Coast Saturday

Potential critical fire Weather conditions may develop Saturday and Saturday evening for the Santa Ynez Valley and North Coast of Santa Barbara County.

The combination of very low relative humidity and gusty offshore winds will bring a significant threat of critical fire weather to southern California Thursday evening through Saturday evening. Extremely dry fuel conditions already in place would allow for rapid fire growth potential during this wind event. The air mass will warm and dry considerably as air is forced down the mountain slopes toward the beaches on Friday and Saturday.

The Santa Barbara County north coast and Santa Ynez Valley may see significant southeast (downslope) winds shifting to westerly in combination with very dry air on Saturday into Saturday evening.

Winds will turn onshore for many areas on Sunday, however, humidity will remain less than 15 percent leading to several hours of critical fire weather conditions. Onshore winds by Monday will result in slightly cooler temperatures and higher humidities district-wide.

A low pressure system will move across the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday and into the central Rockies by Thursday. This "inside slider" will bring moderate offshore winds to southern California late Thursday through Saturday. North winds (Sundowner winds) will first develop across the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. Then, northeast winds (Santa Ana winds) will develop across Ventura and Los Angeles Counties late Thursday night into Friday morning and continue through Saturday, then weaken by Sunday. The Santa Ana's will be accompanied by very dry air and above normal temperatures through the weekend, then winds will turn back onshore for all areas on Monday.



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