Monday, August 4, 2008

Officials worried about flash floods in burn area


Potential thunderstorms in the mountains above Santa Barbara and Goleta have weather officials concerned that flash flooding could cause significant landslides in recently burned areas, including the Gap Fire burn area.

Authorities have issued a flash flood watch for the mountains of Santa Barbara County through Monday evening as monsoonal moisture spreads across southwestern California.
As temperatures rise during the day, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to form Monday afternoon in the mountain areas, along with the potential for very heavy rainfall, according to an alert from the National Weather Service.
“Since upper level winds are rather weak, showers and thunderstorms will be slow-moving,” according to the alert. “The combination of slow-moving thunderstorms with heavy downpours will increase the potential for flash flooding.”
Officials said any heavy rainfall in areas recently scorched by wildfires could cause significant mud and debris flows and urged residents to monitor forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

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