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Thunderstorm potential prompts Red Flag Warning for areas of the Central Coast

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 18:39:28-04

The Central Coast could see some much needed rain late this weekend into early next week.

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties could see thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday bringing brief downpours, gusty downdraft winds and isolated dry lightening. There is increased fire ignition risk due to lightening strikes and dry fuels.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning in effect from Sunday morning though Monday morning for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and the Ventura County Mountains due to the increased risk of thunderstorms.

Given the very dry fuels, any cloud to ground lightning strikes have the potential of starting new wildfires across the warning area. Gusty and erratic winds with thunderstorms will also bring the threat of rapid fire spread with any new ignitions. For coastal areas, the greatest threat of fire ignitions and spread will be coastal foothills and interior areas where the fuels are driest.

High pressure will remain in place over the Western States into next week maintaining above normal temperatures. Showers and thunderstorms are possible tonight through early Monday as monsoonal moisture moves into the region. Thunderstorm threat is expected to start diminishing Monday morning as the last of these waves move north of the area. There could be some lingering activity across SLO County into the afternoon.

Tonight in San Luis Obispo County it will be mostly clear in the evening and then mostly cloudy with patchy fog. Lows are expected to be in the 50s to around 60 degrees. West winds around 15 mph in the evening.

Tomorrow in San Luis Obispo County will be mostly cloudy in the morning with patchy fog. There is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Expect to see highs from the mid 60s to around 70 at the beaches to the mid 70s to mid 80s inland. West winds will be around 15 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight in Santa Barbara County it will be mostly clear in the evening, becoming mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Expect to see lows in the mid 50s to mid 60s. Southwest winds around 15 mph in the evening.

Tomorrow in Santa Barbara County it will be mostly cloudy in the morning then partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Expect highs between 70 and 80 degrees.