Gusty winds swept across Santa Barbara County on Sunday afternoon, making for a choppy welcome as the Sapphire Princess cruise ship briefly dropped anchor off the Santa Barbara Harbor. The National Weather Service said a wind advisory will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Monday.

Weather officials said a passing cold front with a tight surface gradient will be generating gusty wind conditions through early Tuesday. West to northwest winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph are forecast for Sunday night before the winds shift to a northwest to north direction. Gusts to 60 mph are possible below canyons and passes of the Santa Ynez Mountains early Monday.

Motorists are advised to use caution on Highway 101 along the Gaviota coast and on Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass.

Gale-force winds are expected in the Santa Barbara Channel through Monday night, and authorities advised surfers and swimmers to be alert for rip currents.

The Sapphire Princess, the second cruise ship to visit Santa Barbara in as many months, arrived Sunday afternoon but moved on after a couple of hours. White-capped waves made for a bumpy ride as boats ferried many of the liner’s nearly 3,000 passengers to and from the ship.

Monday’s forecast calls for breezy conditions with highs in the low 70s and overnight lows in the 50s. Sunny conditions are expected the rest of the week, but with slightly cooler temperatures in the 60s.

Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

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Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.