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Gusty winds bring in elevated fire weather, waves, and warmer temps

Posted at 6:19 AM, Sep 26, 2023

Good morning, Central Coast and happy Tuesday!

As we kick off the morning conditions are beautiful and clear without any major visibility concerns! That is a great sign but our main headline today has nothing to do with clouds, it is all about the winds.

The strong winds kicked in last night and brought advisory level (45+mph) winds to the Santa Barbara County southcoast. Typically sundowner winds in this area die out pretty quickly but over the next couple of days winds will stay high. This has prompted a wind advisory for the southwestern beaches of Santa Barabara county through 5 a.m. Thursday. Afternoon winds will be gusty but around sunset where gusts exceed 50 mph at times.

Add to this the fact the winds are north and also quite dry. This has prompted an additional advisory for fire weather watch for conditions across southwestern Santa Barbara County, but also the Santa Barbara County mountains and Southcoast. Even if you are not in this area please be extremely cautious when engaging in activities that could spark fires.

Outside of the Southcoast, conditions will also be breezy for the Central Coast. This will reduce the amount of marine cloud cover. Whatever marine clouds form, it's likely they will quickly mix out due to the pace of the winds.

With winds we often see waves, and this is no different. Western beaches are already seeing additional waves and will increase this week. Most waves will be 9-12 ft but local sets up to 14 ft are possible. This brings an increased risk of ocean drownings, rip current risk and potential small boat capsize.

In terms of temperature, the beaches will be in the 60s and low 70s while coastal valleys will be in the mid-70s to low 80s over the next couple of days. This is an increase of nearly 10 degrees from the weekend for the interior valleys. Beaches are just a couple of degrees warmer.

Temperatures relax a little on Thursday and Friday and also over the coming weekend.

The interior valleys will also see temperatures drop from the mid to upper 80s over the next couple of days down to the mid-70s for the coming weekend as winds slow down, the marine depth increases and more night and morning marine clouds are likely to reform.

The pattern features a strong trough of low pressure hitting the PacNW. This week each storm will wash out well before anything substantial reaches the Central Coast. This weekend though a cold front will reach the region and drop temps into the weekend. This will open the door for yet another system to move into the region and could bring us some rain Saturday into Sunday. This is a SMALL chance but still part of the forecast.

The 8-14 day outlook is not all that exciting, near average temps and precipitation are likely for the Central Coast, which in late September and early October is not all that hot or wet.

Have a wonderful day Central Coast!