Windy weather could potentially cause unplanned power outages and damaging gusts for Santa Barbara County’s South Coast and mountain areas over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service

The NWS issued a High Wind Warning that will be in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday until 9 a.m. Saturday.

Affected locations include Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria, San Marcos Pass, and the San Rafael and Dick Smith wilderness areas. 

The forecast is calling for northwest to north winds of 25-40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, the NWS said.

The weather service warned that damaging winds could blow down large objects such as trees and power lines, and power outages are possible.

The conditions are forecast to make driving difficult, especially for a high-profile vehicles.

Highway 101, Highway 154 and Highway 192, as well as the Gaviota and San Marcos passes, may be affected the gusty conditions, the NWS warning said.

“People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches,” the NWS said in its warning. “If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.”

In wake of the warning, Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management urged people to “avoid hazardous activities that may cause sparks or start a wildfire.”

Daytime highs in the upper 60s to 70s are expected along the South Coast on Thursday and Friday, with overnight lows in the mid-40s to mid-50s.

Click here for the latest Santa Barbara area forecast from the National Weather Service.

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Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.