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Red Flag Warning, wind advisory and watch in effect for the Central Coast

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Posted at 5:06 AM, Jan 19, 2021

A Santa Ana Wind event is dominating Southern California and parts of the Central Coast. As an upper-level low near Point Conception continues to move southward and gain momentum, gusty easterly and northeasterly winds will continue to develop through Wednesday. As the low continues its southerly path, it could produce rain over the San Gabriel Mountains.

As a result of the damaging forecasted winds, a red flag warning is in effect for most of the coast, valleys, and foothills across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Sustaining winds across the coast and coastal valleys could stay within a 20-35 mile per hour range with gusts up to 50 mph while wind speeds over mountainous terrain could peak at 70 mph. These conditions will be coupled with lower humidity levels that could dip to 15%, raising concern for rapid fire spread if a fire were to break out.

Additionally, coastal and inland areas across San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties are under a wind advisory, and a high wind watch is covering most of the mountain and foothills across Santa Barbara County due to the gusty winds.

A high surf advisory will remain in place through Tuesday night for San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County area beaches. Breaking waves over the south coast will range from four to seven feet and will be closer to an 8-12 foot range for northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County beaches.

The GFS model is showing a possibility of light rain Friday afternoon over the Central Coast with another round by Sunday evening. Estimated rainfall totals are looking to be on the lighter side but that could change as the event gets closer.