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Already large waves will grow into next week

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Posted at 11:17 AM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 14:17:07-05

A huge Gulf of Alaska low-pressure system put an incredible amount of energy in the water and wave heights will build into early next week. Over the weekend 10ft waves will build to as high as 16ft and 20+ft waves are possible early next week which would prompt a high surf warning, for now, a high surf advisory is in place thru Sunday afternoon.

The weather pattern is mostly quiet, but not entirely. Right now the Central Coast is under some north to northwest upper-level flow which is spraying high clouds over the area today, filtering the sunshine. Temperatures will be near seasonal norms thru the weekend (upper-50s to low-60s inland and low to mid-60s elsewhere).

This morning we saw some low clouds as well on the Central Coast with onshore flow.

There is a very weak cold set to scrape over the area Saturday PM into Sunday AM. Some mist/showers/drizzle is possible but I'd be surprised if any more than a few hundredths of an inch here and there are recorded. More people will miss precipitation from this than get any.

I think the bigger impact from the front will be some stronger winds across Santa Barbara county's high country into Sunday morning.

The story about next week's rains continues to be that the initial optimism for a wet week has mostly evaporated. There are two weak systems: one Monday PM and another Wednesday PM-Thursday.

Both are decaying cold fronts. The storm track appears too far north for decent dynamics and neither storm looks to tap into enough sub-tropical moisture to produce much rain. Monday's system looks to be the better of the two with some scattered showers. I think the highest rain potential will be in the hills of SLO county's north coast with diminishing amounts inland and south. The mid-week system looks even weaker and might not generate much measurable rain anywhere but if it does it will be in the same general area.

After the Monday PM frontal passage: Northwest wind gusts between 25 and 45 mph could develop, which would mean possible wind advisories.