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Heat eases but smoke issues remain

Posted at 2:49 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 20:39:43-04

After nearly a week of temperature records being threatened or broken the ridge of high pressure producing the conditions is backing off. The surface high is moving east and that will encourage more NW flow over the area. While the NW wind will decrease temperatures, it will also usher in more smoke from fires located upstream.

I am frequently asked when smoke conditions will improve, and while weather and winds definitely impact where the smoke goes; the more influential factor is fire suppression. When growth rates are slowed and more active flames put down the amount of smoke will diminish. In other words, you need to follow the news and weather to get a handle on smoke. Models do show more smoke wafting into the Central Coast through Friday. Likely smart to anticipate weekend smoke as well. For detailed air quality statements and forecasts I highly recommend your air pollution control district websites.

Nailing temperatures in the local forecast have become more difficult having to factor a lot of sun filtering thru smoke. That said, the downward trend should continue into next week with a trough of low pressure digging to the west. This will encourage SW flow aloft which is milder.

However one complicating factor will be the leftovers of Hurricane Genevieve (now just a tropical storm) which will move northward toward the Central Coast.

Models show more high clouds and increasing humidity as early as Sunday. Sunday into Tuesday we'll have to monitor for isolated showers and thunderstorms, especially over higher terrain as that is where the greatest instability will be. Currently modeling is not big on the idea, but models have underdone similar features this summer. Just keep up on KSBY.com and social media and we'll keep you informed.