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Daytime highs trend down Tuesday ahead of other significant weather changes

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Posted at 5:07 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 10:04:04-05

A chilly start to the morning is bringing temperatures down to the 20s and 30s for valley locations across the Central Coast. While the morning commute is expected to be mostly clear, patchy fog is filling in near parts of northern Santa Barbara County, including Lompoc.

By the afternoon, daytime highs will be noticeably cooler compared to Monday's warm-up. In most cases, cities that reached the upper 70s to low 80s Monday will be closer to the upper 60s to low 70s Tuesday. Along the coast, daytime highs will also stay between the upper 50s to mid-60s.
Inland valley temperatures will vary from the upper 50s to the low 70 and most coastal valleys will stay right around the 60s and low 70s.

Mild to moderate northeasterly winds are helping keep the skies mostly clear Tuesday, but changes in the wind pattern are on the way. A fire weather watch will go into effect Wednesday afternoon for parts of southern California and the northern inland valleys of San Luis Obispo County. During this time, gusty easterly to southeasterly winds will develop and dew points will drop to extremely low levels, indicating how little moisture there is in the air. The threat of this critical fire weather means that if a fire were to start, it would spread rapidly. It's important to remain vigilant and have a bag packed with belongings and possessions in the event that this does occur.

After the watch expires, an upper-level-low pressure system is expected to develop Thursday and bring the chance of mist and drizzle to the area. It's possible the Central Coast could see a similar pattern heading into the weekend as well. Looking ahead to the start of next week, another low-pressure system that will pack a little bit more of a punch could actually bring some moderate rain Sunday through Monday. More details on that to come as the event nears.