Conditions Tuesday lived up to the billing as temperatures warmed over Monday's highs. Triple digits returned inland with coastal valleys in the 80s and 90s and many beaches in the 70s.
Warmer than average conditions continue Wednesday, and thru the rest of the week as well.
The reason for the scattered thunderstorm/dry lightning threat comes from an upper air low spinning over the Central Coast currently and it looks to continue to spin right over us thru Wednesday.
This will focus some mid-level lift in the area, and combined with hot inland conditions and hot air at higher elevations in the hills there looks to be enough instability for scattered storms. There are some caveats though. The air is not particularly moist. The monsoon in Arizona will leak some slightly muggier air to the west but nothing dramatic. This also appears to be a mid-level disturbance primarily. This is why dry lightning is an issue. Mid-level systems over dry air mean that the dry air closer to the surface can limit rainfall but it can't stop cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.
These strikes have a long history of starting fires in the Golden State. The Storm Prediction Center has identified part of the Central Coast in both marginal thunderstorm risk areas (which is the lowest (weakest) category of assessment) and also in a dry-lightning and fire weather risk area.
Now, granted, we are on the edge of the area they identify rather than in a bullseye but still, enough potential risk is there for people to be aware.
Thursday the upper-level low starts to lift to the northeast, however, some early day wrap-around showers or scattered storms could still get wrapped around the low and thrown back into the area but this should be more isolated than regional.
The upper low may draw temps down a few degrees so when it lifts out temps may warm a little but in essence the warmer than average forecast continues (just with the storm risk removed) for the rest of the week and into early next week as well.