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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 10:34 pm | Mostly Cloudy 53º


Red Flag Warning Added to Wind Advisory for Santa Barbara Area

With gusty sundowner winds expected, a red flag fire warning has been added to a wind advisory issued Saturday for Santa Barbara County’s South Coast and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Northwest winds of 20-30 mph are expected, with gusts to 45 mph, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service.

“Initially winds are expected to be strongest near the Gaviota area late this afternoon, then become focused from San Marcos Pass to the Montecito area this evening through late tonight,” forecasters said.

The red flag warning and wind advisory will extend from 3 p.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or will begin soon. One is typically issued when above-normal temperatures, very low humidity and winds are expected.

The Montecito Fire Protection District said it would increase its Saturday staffing levels in response to the warning. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden announced it would close at 2:30 p.m. Saturday to reduce traffic in Mission Canyon, garden spokeswoman Nina Dunbar said.

Motorists were urged to use extra caution on affected roadways, including highways 101, 154 and 192.

Sunny skies were expected Saturday, with highs near 90 on the coast, and warmer in some inland areas.

Winds should diminish overnight, with highs near 80 on Sunday and Labor Day.

Next week should be cooler, with highs in the mid-70s.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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