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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 9:05 am | Fair 41º


Flash-Flood Watch Extended for Burn Areas

Rainfall totals top 2 inches in some areas as weather forces cancellation of Milpas Christmas Parade

With heavy rain forecast for Saturday night, the National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch for the Gap, Jesusita, La Brea and Tea fire burn areas. Late Saturday, the watch was extended until 3 a.m. Sunday.

A wind advisory was also issued as the third storm in a week rolled in. Strong south winds of 20-40 mph were expected, with gusts between 50 and 60 mph likely. The weather service said the winds should begin to diminish early Sunday.

The weekend weather already claimed one casualty Saturday when organizers canceled the 58th Annual Milpas Holiday Parade Car Show & Toy Drive. Cynthia Estrella, a client relationship specialist at Business First Bank and chairwoman of the parade’s planning committee, said the parade has not been rescheduled. Next weekend is out, she said, because of a lack of available law-enforcement personnel.

The weather service said the South Coast should see moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall beginning late Saturday morning, with intensity increasing through the afternoon to as much as three-quarters of an inch an hour Saturday night. According to weather officials, rainfall at that rate might be sufficient to cause flash flooding and debris flows in and downstream from the burn areas, especially on south-facing slopes. Residents are advised to be on alert for emergency updates. Minor street flooding is also possible.

Saturday’s storm could bring as much as 2½ inches of rain in the watch area, with more than 3 inches possible in some areas. The week’s rainfall totals have had highs of 4.62 inches at Tecolote Canyon, up from 1.80 inches Friday; 4.44 inches in Winchester Canyon, up from 1.91 inches the day before; 3.58 inches at San Marcos Pass, up from 1.44 inches; 3.16 inches at El Deseo Ranch off East Camino Cielo, up from 1.61 inches; 2.36 inches on the Edison Trail in the Summerland Greenwell Preserve, up from 1.42 inches; 3.15 inches at Refugio Pass, up from 1.38 inches; and 1.46 inches in Montecito, up from 1.33 inches.

Sunday’s forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and highs near 60 degrees. Monday is expected to be mostly sunny, with highs near 60.

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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