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Heavy rain and high winds as storm passes through Central Coast

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jan 15, 2019

Locally heavy rain and gusty winds are expected throughout the day Tuesday across the Central Coast.

Rainfall rates are expected between 0.50-1.25″ which could lead to debris flows. A flash flood watch is in effect for areas near the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire burn scars.

The South Coast could see between 2-4″ of rain from Tuesday’s system while northern Santa Barbara County and SLO County will receive about 1-3″ of rain.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall along the South Coast between 1-5 p.m.

Neighborhoods of Montecito have been ordered to evacuate by 10 a.m., before the most severe storm cells arrive.

Winds are also significant and prompting concerns for downed trees, power lines and outages.

A wind advisory is in place for much of SLO and SB counties for sustained S-SE winds 25-35 mph with gusts 45-55 mph. Along the San Marcos Pass, a high wind watch is in effect through 7 p.m. with wind gusts expected up to 60 mph.

The rain tapers off late Tuesday and into Wednesday. A few scattered showers are likely Wednesday morning but other cloudy and dry.

The rain returns Wednesday afternoon and evening and intensifies overnight into Thursday morning. The South Coast will be dealing with more risks of debris flows as another round of severely-heavy rain is forecast to fall right over the burn-scarred areas. In addition to Tuesday’s rain, the South Coast may receive another 2-4″ of rain Thursday.