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A cold storm rolls thru the area into Friday but rainfall amounts are not likely to be very great

Radar snapshot from Thursday morning
Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 03, 2022

10:55pm update from Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde:

We are downgrading the rain outlook even further. The system is just not producing much rain (if any at all that is measurable for most locations yet), and the trajectory of the trough and low don't seem to favor much more than scattered rain. Some locations could see up to .20" but it also looks like many locations could miss out on rain entirely. This reduction of moisture brings all elements in the forecast in question. While cold air does look to arrive the snow amounts in the higher elevations of the Santa Barbara County mountains also would likely be lower. The rapid refreshing models keep trending downward. The extended forecast is also quite bleak thru mid-month.

From the prior article——————-

Severe drought officially returned to parts of SLO and Santa Barbara counties today according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As lake levels sag due to two months of poor rain delivery.

The much-anticipated storm system this week is starting to look disappointing for folks hoping for late-season rain. Like most systems since the beginning of 2022, this looks to be another cold and windy system but not particularly wet.

Earlier this week models placed the path in a more ideal scenario to connect with some moisture and focus up to 1" rain for the Central Coast but as the system drew near it became more clear the storm was too far west and ultimately will track too far south to focus better potential for the Central Coast.

Now this doesn't mean it won't rain, scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast but it looks like the high side on rainfall could be .30" outside of thunderstorms where isolated higher amounts are possible.

The thunderstorm potential is later tonight into early Friday before that potential shift further south.

Showers begin Thursday PM into Friday then diminish before another cold shot of air should produce more widely scattered showers Saturday.

The larger story may be the cold temps. Highs sag into the 50s and 60s Friday and 50s for most on Saturday before temps rebound to average and above average next week. West winds 15-25mph later Thursday night turn to the NW Friday into Saturday ushering the cold air.

There is a winter weather advisory for the Santa Barbara County mountains where several inches of snow could fall as snow levels drop from about 5000ft to around 2000ft by later Friday.

A high surf advisory is in effect for 8-12ft breakers.

The double-disappointment is that models continue to call the foreseeable forecast as mostly dry past the middle of the month. After a fast start to the rain season closing 2021, 2022 has been a huge dud with Jan-Feb being the driest two-month period in Central Coast history and thus far March appears to be joining the trend.