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Local Forecast

Fourth of July weekend forecast

Ample high clouds with virga expected on Saturday. Otherwise coastal low clouds and fog will continue into next week, with clear skies over inland areas. Slightly above normal temperatures and breezy conditions over the interior and sundowner areas will continue through Monday, with very little day-to-day change. Some warming likely Tuesday and Wednesday, with very hot conditions and monsoonal thunderstorms possible towards the end of next week.

Slightly stronger than usual high pressure aloft will remain dominant through Monday with little day-to-day changes. Temperatures will remain near to slightly above normal, with low clouds and fog mainly confined to the coast and select adjacent valleys, all very typical for this time of the year. Gusty westerly winds will form each afternoon over the interior areas, as well as northwest winds over western Santa Barbara County each evening, but neither of which look up to Wind Advisory levels.

The one wild card in the simple short-term weather story is a batch of high level clouds, currently pushing into extreme southern California. These debris clouds, leftover from convection over Mexico, could do a number of things. The surest thing it can do is produce partly-to-mostly cloudy skies tonight into tomorrow nearly everywhere. This should lower temperatures a little.

As far as your Fourth of July plans, temperatures will be comfortable with highs near normal. This puts Central Coast cities in the upper 60s, Santa Barbara South Coast cities in the mid to upper 70s, and inland spots in the mid 80s to low 90s. Lows will be in the mid 50s to mid 60s. Fireworks viewing may be obscured by cloud cover along the Central Coast. For now it looks like the Santa Barbara South Coast will have mostly clear conditions.

Daytime heating in the mountains will also provide another source of lift, but without much instability, any thunderstorm chances are also not zero but very small.

High pressure aloft will strengthen a little Tuesday and Wednesday while its center slides slightly towards California. This should result in some warming over inland areas Tuesday and/or Wednesday with little change into Thursday. The high is expected to strengthen further for the end of next week.

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Kelsey Gerckens

Kelsey Gerckens is chief meteorologist for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Kelsey, click here.

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