Wednesday, May 4 , 2016, 8:26 am | Fog/Mist 54º

High Winds Rake South Coast, Are Expected to Continue Through Weekend

Crews keep busy cleaning up debris as the National Weather Service records gusts of 66 mph out of the Montecito foothills

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

High winds whipped through parts of the South Coast on Thursday night and early Friday, leaving fallen palm fronds and debris in their wake, and meteorologists say that this weekend could have more blustery conditions in store.

Strong winds tore through the hills above Montecito, and the National Weather Service recorded gusts of 66 mph, according to meteorologist David Sweet.

At the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, gusts of 52 mph were recorded, and on Figueroa Mountain, winds were clocked at 33 mph.

Local government crews were kept busy Friday, cleaning up the mess left by the windy conditions.

On Saturday night, winds are expected pick up below passes and canyons in the area, with speeds between 15 to 25 mph, and gusts of up to 40, but are expected to remain less powerful than Thursday's winds.

"We don't expect this to be quite as strong," Sweet said.

Over the weekend, humidity is expected to fall briefly below 15 percent, and critical fire conditions may be declared Saturday night and early Sunday.

From Sunday night into much of next week, the winds are going to shift to the northeast, which means Santa Barbara County will not get hit as hard as the activity shifts to Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

No rain is in sight for the region, and local water agencies say mandatory conservation orders may be coming soon.

Clear skies are expected into next week, with temperatures in the 70s during the day and dipping into the 50s at night.

— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A hiker takes in the view of Santa Barbara on Friday afternoon from Inspiration Point above Mission Canyon. Clear skies and perfect hiking temperatures — with highs around 70 — are expected into next week. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.