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Red flag warning joins heat advisory as intense heat builds

Posted at 4:07 PM, Sep 30, 2020

We are still days away from the heat breaking across the Central Coast and Wednesday saw high temps hit some coastal valleys with SLO passing 107 in the early afternoon. The 107 smashed the existing record of 97 back from 1980, when 78 is an average daytime high.

A thin strip of marine layer delayed beaches from feeling the heat but I think offshore winds will push off what's left of the marine clouds and Thursday should be as hot if not hotter.

The upper level ridge peaks over the next few days. This will produce strong surface high pressure and drive morning offshore winds. Offshore winds are dry and has air sinks and compresses it also heats, so a lot of factor support a hot forecast.

Additionally, Critical fire weather conditions are expected tonight into early Thursday morning due to gusty north winds and low humidities. The strongest winds are expected to be in the foothills and ridges of the Santa Ynez Range, though gusty winds are possible down to the coast and in parts of the back country. Winds gusts between 35 and 40 mph are possible, mainly over the peaks of the Santa Ynez Range, with humidities dropping to between 8 and 12 percent.

In addition, temperatures overnight are expected to remain very warm with many foothill and mountain locations not dropping below 85 degrees. Winds are expected to decrease early in the morning Thursday, though temperatures will again rise to around 100 degrees across foothill and lower mountain locations and humidities from 8 to 15 percent.

Winds Thursday night are expected to be slightly weaker than tonight so while an extension of the red flag warning is not expected it is possible.
So, let's tackle the million dollar question: when do we cool down? Answer is: over the weekend. I think some Friday afternoon breezy to windy onshore winds develop BUT after we see some pretty warm to downright hot temperatures.

The weekend will be cooler, but still slightly warmer than average. I think near average highs may wait until mid to late next week.