UPDATE [2/24/2023, 3:00 p.m.]: The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Santa Barbara and Southern Ventura Counties today at 2:29 p.m., effective until 10 p.m.
With forecasts for unusually cold weather and high rainfall this week, the National Weather Service issued warnings earlier today for winter storm and blizzard conditions in Santa Barbara County.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warnings apply to the Los Angeles County Mountains, Ventura County Mountains and Santa Barbara County Interior Mountains, which includes the cities of Big Pine Mountain, Figueroa Mountain and San Rafael Mountains.
The winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 a.m. on Friday, with expectations for snow and wind gusting up to 50 mph. The NWS upgraded the storm to a blizzard warning, from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.
NWS predicted heavy snow, wind gusting up to 65 mph and “near zero visibility” during the blizzard. Total snowfall in high altitude areas could be between 1 and 3 feet, and snow could accumulate up to 6 inches in areas 2,000 feet above sea level, according to NWS.
As a precaution, NWS recommended county residents to avoid travel in affected areas, citing unsafe road conditions, poor visibility and potential tree falls due to high winds.
“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” NSW said in the blizzard warning. “Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”