Drizzly, dark and cold. That’s the kind of weather most Central Coast residents have woken up to over the last week, but the rain is much needed and areas of the Central Coast are exceeding average rainfall totals each day.
“Every single location on the Central Coast has seen more rain so far this month than our monthly average so we’re starting to eat away at some of those deficits but we still have a long way to go,” said KSBY Daybreak Meteorologist Vivian Rennie.
For the month of December, on average, San Luis Obispo receives more than 4 inches of rain. So far this month, the city has received almost 8 inches. Paso Robles, which averages 2 inches, has so far received more than 6 inches. Santa Maria also averages 2 inches of rain and has received more than 3 so far this month, and there’s more on the way.
Although we are nearing the end of 2022, the rain year has just begun. The rain year is measured for 12 consecutive months starting October 1.
“We’re already seeing relatively high rain totals for that, continuing to see a little bit more than about half throughout the majority of the Central Coast. We still have a lot of dry months to go in the year, but we are making good progress,” Rennie said.
It may seem like the Central Coast is receiving a good amount of rain, but Rennie says the Central Coast still needs more than 10 inches.
But with many months left in the rain year, meeting that goal is not out of the question.
“So, we see pretty much all of our rain in the winter months," Rennie added.
And that happens to coincide with many major holidays.
“So we’ve got a pretty big rain chance for New Year’s Eve that’s definitely going to be impactful here on the Central Coast," she said.
The California Highway Patrol says New Year’s Eve is typically a busy night as people head out to ring in the new year.
When it’s raining, the CHP and AAA say the biggest risk factor for an accident is speed.
“The primary cause of collisions is going to be speed so that would be my biggest suggestion is for people to just slow down even more so when it’s raining,” said CHP Public Information Officer Miguel Alvarez.
“Crashes increase in wet conditions as drivers overestimate how fast they can go," said Automobile Club of Southern California spokesperson Marie Montgomery.
In order to avoid an accident, AAA recommends driving well below the posted speed limit and following a few car lengths behind other drivers when conditions are not ideal and it is raining heavily.