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Critical fire weather into Wednesday

Temperatures will continue to warm into Wednesday, with above average conditions and sunny skies on deck. The gusty Sundowner winds will persist into the next several days as well, with a Wind Advisory in effect until 5am Thursday morning. Wind speeds will be between 25-35 mph, with isolated gusts up to 60 mph for areas like the Gaviota Coast.

The advisory level winds will primarily impact Santa Barbara County's Southwestern Coast and Santa Ynez Mountains Western Range. It expires at 5am Wednesday for Santa Barbara County's Southeastern Coast and Santa Ynez Mountains Eastern Range. It will be in effect from 9pm Tuesday evening until noon on Wednesday for the Santa Lucia Mountains.

The combination of gusty winds and low relative humidity calls for an increased risk of fire danger. Monday's Fire Weather Watch has been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning by the National Weather Service. This is for Santa Barbara County's Coast and Interior Mountains, along with the Santa Ynez Mountains. The Red Flag Warning will be in effect until 9am Wednesday morning. Relative humidity will be in teens during this time. When the Red Flag Warning expires, it will turn into a Fire Weather Watch that will remain in effect until Wednesday night.

Additionally, there is a High Surf Advisory for Central Coast beaches until 9am Thursday, where waves between 10-14 feet are expected, with dangerous rip currents. It is best to avoid the water for the time being to ensure your safety.

Temperatures will rapidly cool down Thursday and into the weekend. There is a slight chance of light rain and precipitation over the weekend, as an upper low approaches the area from Northern California.

Article Topic Follows: Local Forecast

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Christa Kurkjian


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