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Fire weather conditions continue to be alarming in Ventura Count - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Fire weather conditions continue to be alarming in Ventura County

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Fire weather conditions across Ventura County continue to look alarming with winds NE 25-40mph again tonight with wind gusts 50-70 possible.  These NE winds are extremely dry and with active fires already covering much of the high country the forecast is as challenging as it gets for firefighters.  Offshore winds may peak tonight into tomorrow but offshore flow should continue into the weekend with again no rain in sight for Ventura County.  Interestingly, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are among the only places in the state not to get out of a drought last winter.  Almost no meaningful rain has fallen in the area since spring.  Not only will winds be high but temps will also be cold away from the fire with hard freeze conditions possible.

The winds are being driven by a building high-pressure ridge coming in after a cold dry trough exited the region over the weekend.  The change in pressure drives the wind.  The position of high pressure decides the direction.  With the ridge actually growing there still is more wind anticipated.

For the Central Coast: Hard freeze conditions inland again tonight and a freeze possible even near the coast.  There is no more advisory for a hard freeze tonight inland even though temps will actually be cooler than last night because a hard freeze has already happened and generally once it does additional events are not advised since unprotected sensitive plants are already likely damaged.  That said, people who are continuing to manage plants or animals left outside or are concerned about the potential for pipes to burst should still take precautions tonight.

A freeze watch is in place near the coast, even though a frost has already happened at a number of coastal locations the potential for a freeze (where temps are 32 or cooler for several hours) has not occurred at many locations.  This covers the coastal valleys in SLO and SB county. Clear skies, dry air, and offshore winds are the perfect ingredients for cold weather and the interior valleys of the Central Coast will see the lowest temps in the 19-25 range for several hours, 28-32 in the coastal valleys and closer to the 40s at most beaches.

Later this week a ridge builds over the state and sets up shop for cool but not as brutally cold overnight lows and potentially record-setting highs later this week near 80 in the coastal valleys and low to mid-70s inland. This pattern is not favorable for rain and none looks likely thru mid-December.

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