A brief break in rain gives us time to prepare for the next storms and gather perspective

Rain gauge from Atascadero
Posted at 7:18 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 22:18:52-05

The powerful storm to start the week is a record-breaking system in many ways. Some of the 24 and 48-hour rainfall totals across the Santa Ynez mountains above the Southcoast are record-setting amounts. In some places more than a foot of rain fell:

Vivian wrote a story earlier today with rainfall amounts and seasonal totals to date.

Elsewhere it was also a record-setting rain event. Santa Maria set a record for the 9th with nearly 3.42 inches of rain, it is also the record for any January day but shy of the all time record for any day of 3.55" in Feb. of 1938.

Santa Barbara set a record for the 9th with 4.22 inches of rain, it is also the record for any January day but shy of the all-time record for any day of 5.23" in March of 2011.

Cal Pol-SLO set a record for the 9th with 6.57 inches of rain, it is also the record for any January day and also the all-time record for any day beating the old record from the huge flooding event of 1969 which was called the 100-year flood event. You can read more about that event in the link in the social post below.

Reservoirs also are experiencing a huge surge. There is still quite a bit of inflow but as of Tuesday afternoon here is where everything was standing:

Cachuma will likely fill and some releases are being considered to create space for from associated with upcoming storms.

Speaking of upcoming storms: we are getting an important break before significant rain returns. There is actually another storm system in the region, generally passing us to the north on Wednesday but a few showers or sprinkles are possible, mostly in northern SLO county. This is more of a miss for the area than a hit.

Due to all the recent rainfall areas of low clouds and fog are possible in some wind sheltered valleys if we get some overhead clearing tonight.

Thursday we will see more clearing of the skies but that's about the end of it for the break in the rain. Friday thru the weekend rain is likely.

Another system is right on the heels of the weekend rain to keep potential in the forecast thru Tuesday if not also Wednesday. Each of these coming systems: Friday-Sunday, and Monday-Wednesday could bring 1-3.5".

The good news is that we have this current break (even if it is imperfect) to let some water run from problem areas so we have the capability to handle the incoming events. My outlook is a bullish one, there are forecasts which are lower but considering the trends this season the high side seems the better bet. This forecast will likely change to accommodate developing conditions but continued activity and potential are likely even if some of the details change as these systems approach.

Surf is still high across the area and a high surf advisory is in place thru Wednesday. Surf outlooks show even higher surf likely Friday into the weekend.