Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 9:46 am | Overcast 57º


Local News

Damaging Santa Ana Winds Expected to Rake Southern California but Bypass South Coast

80 mph gusts possible in Ventura, Los Angeles counties as low-pressure system makes its presence felt

A powerful low-pressure system is expected to send damaging santa ana winds across much of Southern California beginning Wednesday evening and lasting into early Friday. Santa Barbara County’s South Coast may be spared the worst of the winds, which could top 80 mph in parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The National Weather Service said a cold upper-level low-pressure system dropping down from Alaska is likely to park over southeastern California on Wednesday, creating conditions for very strong and widespread offshore winds throughout southwestern California.

Authorities warned that the winds could be the strongest the region has experienced in years.

The weather service issued a wind advisory Wednesday morning for the South Coast, including Montecito, beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the weather service, the strongest winds will be blowing offshore from late Wednesday until early Friday, with Ventura and Los Angeles counties bearing the brunt of the assault. Damaging gusts exceeding 80 mph are possible in mountain passes with gusts above 60 mph likely along the coast. Weaker offshore winds are expected to continue through the weekend.

Despite the dire forecasts elsewhere, winds only between 5 and 15 mph are expected on the South Coast on Wednesday night and Thursday. Daytime temperatures both days are likely to be around 70.

Concerned about the high risk of fire danger caused by the combination of strong winds and low humidity, authorities set a red-flag warning beginning Wednesday night. Officials also advised residents to watch for downed power lines and trees, and motorists were cautioned about blowing debris, dust and sand.

» 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 Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Connect with 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. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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