Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 12:44 am | Overcast 64º


Local News

Mountain Rain Gauges Log 3 Inches from Sunday Night Storm

Flash-flood warnings issued for burn areas but no immediate reports of damage; 2 hikers rescued earlier

A surprisingly intense storm pushed across the South Coast on Sunday night, resulting in National Weather Service flash-flood warnings for the Gap, Jesusita and Tea fire burn areas and a flood advisory for Santa Barbara, Mission Canyon and Montecito. Earlier Sunday, two hikers were located and brought to safety after they became disoriented near Painted Cave.

The weather service canceled its flash-flood warning and flood advisory around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. There were no immediate reports of damage but power dimmed in Montecito as gusty winds blew through.

Weather officials said Doppler radar at Vandenberg Air Force Base indicated heavy rain spreading into the South Coast burn areas about 7:20 p.m., with automated rain gauges reporting rainfall as high as .70 inches an hour in the Jesusita Fire area and .90 inches an hour in the Gap Fire area. As the heaviest rain moved across the region just before 9 p.m., officials said the Gap area was receiving 1.10 inches an hour and the Jesusita area was getting an inch an hour.

The heaviest rainfall totals were recorded at La Cumbre Peak (3.19 inches), Gibraltar Dam (3.16 inches), Winchester Canyon (2.98 inches), San Marcos Pass (2.79 inches) and La Patera Ranch (2.46 inches).

Flash-flood warnings mean flooding and debris flows are imminent or under way, the weather service said. Downstream residents were advised to take immediate precautions to protect themselves and their property.

Earlier Sunday, a 14-member Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team was dispatched to the Painted Cave area to locate two women who had become disoriented while hiking in the mountains.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars said the women, both in their 50s and visiting from the East Coast, had been exploring in and around Painted Cave State Historic Park and became disoriented when the weather turned as heavy cloud cover and rain moved into the area. The women used a cell phone to call 9-1-1, rescuers were dispatched, and the women were quickly located and safely escorted back to their car.

Blustery winds buffeted the South Coast on Sunday before a cold front pushed a band of rain ashore around 5 p.m. The rain tapered off later Sunday but wind gusts of up to 30 mph were likely overnight.

A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast for Monday, with high temperatures near 60. Dry and milder weather is expected the rest of the week.

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

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