Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 12:16 am | Fair 56º


Pre-Evacuation Alert Issued as Storm System Approaches Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County officials are keeping a close eye on an approaching storm system that has the potential to produce isolated thunderstorms that could cause flooding and debris flows below recent burn areas.

A Pre-Evacuation Advisory has been issued for the Sherpa, Whitter, Thomas and Alamo Fire burn areas due to an approaching storm.

“It’s not really a big storm,” said Kathy Hosxie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “However, as soon as we put thunderstorms in the forecast, it changes the complexion on things.”

Most areas of the county should receive a third of an inch or less from the storm, which is expected to move in Monday and continued into Tuesday.

The heaviest rainfall — less than a quarter of an inch — is expected Tuesday morning into mid-afternoon, Hoxsie said.

“However, because of the instability associated with this storm, the predications currently show a possibility of isolated rain totals in some areas of between 0.50 and 1 inch where thunderstorms develop,” according to county officials.

“The county, emergency officials and the National Weather Service are closely monitoring the situation, and will alert the public with more information as the storm approaches,” county officials said. “Impact areas need to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation for Monday evening.

“If at any time during this storm, or any storm, anyone feels threatened, action should be taken to leave for high ground or a safe area. Do not wait for a notification.”

Another storm system “that looks wetter” is expected to hit the region Thursday into Saturday, Hoxsie said, adding that “it looks like there might be something brewing” for next week as well.

In the wake of the Jan. 9 Debris Flows, county officials are acting with an abundance of caution, but Hoxsie stressed that “the odds are overwhelming that there shouldn’t be a problem with this storm.”

Daytime highs this week should be in the upper-50s, with overnight lows in the mid-40s.

Click here for the latest forecast.

For more information on the risk, go to ReadySBC.org. To go directly to the Interactive Debris Flow Risk Areas map, visit ReadySBC.org/StormReadyMap.

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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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