The National Weather Service has forecast a storm that will reach Santa Barbara County on Wednesday is expected to bring strong winds, although rainfall levels are predicted to remain below debris flow thresholds.

But Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management officials are warning the public to stay alert to changing conditions and take steps to assure their safety.

Winds predicted from 15 to 20 mph Tuesday night are forecast to rise to 20 to 30 mph Wednesday, with gusts as high as 40 mph by Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Initial rainfall estimates between Tuesday night and Thursday night call for 1 to 2 inches along the coast and in coastal valleys, while 2 to 4 inches could fall in the foothills and mountains, forecasters said.

The chances of rain are 50 percent after 10 p.m. Tuesday night, rising to 100 percent Wednesday, then dropping to 80 percent Wednesday night and 60 percent Thursday morning.

A 30-percent chance of rain is forecast for Thursday night, dropping to a chance of showers Friday.

The storm is forecast to continue through Thursday, and the National Weather Service and Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor its status, officials said.

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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