Just days after the fall equinox marked the official end of summer with a particularly big, fat, orange full moon, an impressive high pressure built up in the South Coast earlier this week and sent temperatures soaring to record levels from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, including right here in Santa Barbara.
While much of the county saw at least 90-degree heat on Sunday, including a few triple-digit readings inland, Monday, September 27, was the day of record reckoning. According to the National Weather Service, Santa Barbara Airport hit 100 degrees (slightly above the previous daily record of 99 set in 1970), downtown S.B. hit a stifling 107 degrees (shattering the previous daily record of 103 set in 1963), Santa Maria topped out at 105, and Ojai hit 112. In fact, thanks to some light northeast winds, the mercury stayed unpleasantly warm well past sunset on Monday with numerous reports from up and down the coast of 90-degree temperatures just before midnight.
As hot as it was — Monday actually saw the hottest temperature ever recorded in downtown Los Angeles when readings hit 113 — the heat wave fell well short of Santa Barbara’s all-time hottest day on record when thermometers hit some 133 degrees on June 17, 1859.