A very strong storm is on the doorstep for the SLO and Santa Barbara county area and it will bring dangerous seas, heavy rain and potentially damaging winds to the area tonight through Saturday. While rain showers have already started for parts of the area the main impact of the system will be 10pm Friday night into late Saturday morning with the heavy rain and strong winds. However it is important to understand that some lingering showers continue into the afternoon. A second round with this storm looks to develop later Saturday evening continuing periods of lighter to moderate rain into Sunday.
Winds will pick up this evening from the SE at 15-30mph but after 10pm the wind potential ramps up to 30-50mph with gusts to 60mph for the Central Coast and potential high winds gusts for Santa Barbara county higher elevations could even see gust potential to 80mph. High wind warnings are in place for this.
A flash flood watch is also in place for recent burn areas of Santa Barbara county (Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas). 2-4″ of rain across the watch area is expected with rain rates of .5-1″/per hour possible with some potential of 1.25″/hour. These rain rates could cause flooding and debris flows.
The rain forecast is 1-3″ for coastal areas, modeling is indicating parts of SLO county might be under that range but best to prepare for the full potential. 2-4″ for the Southcoast with with 3-7″ in foothills and mountains in SB county.
While the main impact is Saturday morning, again more rain Saturday night into Sunday and another .25-1″ system possible Monday.
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