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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 6:08 pm | Fair 59º


Frost Advisory Set for Carpinteria, Montecito, Santa Barbara

Storm moves on but cold lingers; temperatures expected to drop rapidly Saturday afternoon

Change of plans.

The frigid storm that was supposed to spend the day in Santa Barbara County moved out early on Saturday, leaving behind mostly blue skies where gray had been forecast, and white-capped mountains in the backcountry. Scattered showers, thunderstorms and strong winds are expected along the South Coast through Sunday morning.

Hikers take a break below the waterfall two miles up San Ysidro Trail on Saturday.
Hikers take a break below the waterfall two miles up San Ysidro Trail on Saturday. (Dana Fisher photo / www.santabarbarafun.net)

The storm’s other remnants were much colder temperatures and a frost advisory for Saturday night. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will drop to the low 40s by 5 p.m. Saturday and dip to the low 30s overnight.

The weather service said Carpinteria, Montecito and Santa Barbara may experience temperatures as low as 29 degrees in wind-protected areas for at least three hours early Sunday. Goleta was not mentioned in the frost advisory but the storm system’s cold air mass is capable of producing widespread frost.

As a precaution, the weather service advised that pets be brought indoors overnight. Sensitive outdoor plants may die if left uncovered in the frost.

The storm’s rainfall totals exceeded the forecast. The county Public Works Department reported the most rain at El Deseo Ranch off East Camino Cielo above Montecito, at 2.92 inches. Mount Calvary recorded 2.36 inches, the Edison Trail above Carpinteria 2.24 inches, San Marcos Pass 2.08 inches, Tecolote Canyon west of Goleta had 2.03 inches, Carpinteria and Montecito 1.69 inches, Santa Barbara 1.52 inches and Goleta 1.18 inches.

The snow level dropped to 1,500 feet in some parts of the county.

Along with scattered showers and thunderstorms, the weather service said gusty winds and small hail are possible, both on- and offshore Saturday. Surfers and swimmers are advised to be on the alert for dangerous rip currents.

Sunday’s forecast calls for mostly clear conditions with high temperatures in the 50s and night-time temperatures in the upper 30s.

The rest of the week should see sunny conditions with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s. Overnight lows in the 40s are expected through next weekend. A slight chance of rain is in the forescast for Wednesday.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services said there was a high probability that vital travel routes, such as Interstate 5 over the Grapevine, could close because of weather conditions. Previous closures have had significant impacts in the county as travelers detoured to Highway 101. The OES advised drivers to plan on more travel time being needed.

Authorities also advised hikers, campers and motorists to be prepared for winter weather and to be mindful that conditions can change quickly during this time of year. Authorities also asked that motorists use caution when driving in snowy and icy conditions, and to have full gas tanks, extra food and water and an emergency kit in their vehicles.

A week ago, four hikers were rescued near Cathedral Peak above Santa Barbara after they were caught in a fast-developing snowstorm Feb. 19. Two of the hikers were treated for hypothermia.

Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

Click here for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department’s interactive precipitation map.

Click here for the county Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Follow the OES on Facebook.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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