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Temperatures expected to fall as weekend draws near

Posted: September 1, 2009 10:35 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2009 6:00 a.m.
 
A cloud cover coupled with an eerie haze of smoke and falling ash blotted out the sun over the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, dropping temperatures below the expected triple digits, experts said.

Smoke from the Station Fire hanging in the air Tuesday was joined by a spot of moisture that brought a light sprinkle to parts of Newhall.

The resulting conditions in the Santa Clarita Valley were strange: The sky glowed a yellowish gray, the odor of burning brush permeated the air, the sun cast an orange-brown hue and bits of ash fluttered down from the sky.

"There are some clouds sprinkled in with that smoke," said National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Kittell.

School officials continued keeping kids inside as the air quality remained poor.

Ash fell periodically throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, most heavily in the northeast areas closest to the Station Fire.

"My car had ash all over it when I pulled out today," said Laurie Gilmore of Canyon Country.

She said the poor air quality had her worried about the health of her dogs, and she has been keeping them indoors.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District said air quality will likely remain unhealthful in areas closest to the Station Fire, including the Santa Clarita Valley.

AQMD officials urged residents to avoid vigorous outdoor exercise and said those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.

Windows and doors should be kept closed, filters should be cleaned and fresh-air intakes should be kept closed.

The clouds and smoke did spell a little relief from the recent heat spell, Kittell said.

Today the weather service expects temperatures to reach at least 100 degrees, with evening lows in the 70s. Temperatures may drop into the low 90s on Friday and the 80s on Saturday.

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