Heat wave sets record highs — from Paso to SLO to Santa Maria

Unseasonal heat rewrote the record books across the Central Coast again on Monday, setting new highs from Santa Maria to Paso Robles.

San Luis Obispo topped out at 87 degrees, shattering the record of 82 in 1976, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. That matched the record high from the day before.

Paso Robles’ record high of 77 in the same year also fell, with a high of 79 on Monday.

But it was in Santa Maria where the longest-held record fell. A record of 83 set in 1931 was exceeded by Monday’s high of 85.

“It’s unusual,” Lindsey said. “It’s safe to say that whenever you break records is a pretty unique event, especially when you’re going back so many years, like Santa Maria in 1931.”

“We seem to be breaking high-temperature records all the time now.”

He also noted that this particular weather pattern was odd in that heat records were falling despite the high clouds that have been drifting of the region.

Looking ahead, Lindsey expects it to remain warm for the next few days with forecast highs around 80 in San Luis Obispo and in the 70s in the North County. At the end of the week, he said, the winds will turn onshore and temperatures will cool a bit.

But what about rain? Will we ever see any this season?

Not likely before Valentine’s Day; weather models are filled with one dry day after another, Lindsey said.

“It’s going to stay dry for at least 10 days. I don’t see any break,” he said.

“This is really pretty disturbing,” he added, when asked about his thoughts for the rest of this winter. “It’s not looking good.”

However, as local residents know, San Luis Obispo County can make a late-season comeback with a Miracle March. Lindsey remains circumspect about that possibility.

“It doesn’t speak well for the season when you’re betting everything on the month of March,” he said.

Joe Tarica: 805-781-7911, @joetarica

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