Good morning Central Coast!
To kick off our Friday a cold front is pushing into our region that will drive a big change over the next few days including widespread rain Saturday. This will take us form the 70s and 80s we saw Thursday to t he 50s by Saturday.
Diving right into the morning conditions, a large area of cloud cover is surging in Friday morning, this will stay high enough in our atmosphere to keep away from most visibility concerns at the coast. That being said, for those at higher elevations there is a chance for some dense fog this morning. You know what to do, take it slow when in limited visibility conditions.
Today is all about the transition from warmer temps to the cooler and dreary weekend conditions. Highs will be in the low 60s across our western beaches and coastal valleys today, still mild at the south coast where the cold front will reach after the bulk of the days heating is done.
The approaching cold front is associated with the rain system that will bring cooler air and widespread rain Saturday.
Saturday the rain arrives early. First with the chance of some light rain in the interior valleys overnight. This first impulse is on the mild side and thanks to the very dry air mass that has set up the last few days I would be surprised if much (if any reaches the ground). That will clear out ahead of the main low pressure that will reach us by mid morning.
Scattered showers will spread across the Central Coast into the afternoon when the best chance for accumulations falls.
As the system moves south into the evening and overnight hours the air will cool and snow levels will fall enough to bring a slight chance of some snow to the highest elevations in Santa Barbara County. These will be minimal but still worth a mention.
Just as a mention on Sunday afternoon another system will push south from Nevada headed to the LA basin. This may graze our south coast in the evening.
This system will usher in some breezy onshore conditions, to the point where there is risk for 45mph+ gusts for our south coast. Gusty conditions up to 30mph are expected elsewhere but the Gaviota coastline will get the brunt of it.
There is a wind advisory in place through 9AM Saturday morning thanks to this risk.
As far as rain totals go, they will vary greatly by location. Thanks to the scattered showers and current dry air mass we are expecting some areas to miss out completely while the spots where storms set up could see upwards of 0.25". I think that this will be a "minor storm" with most locations seeing mere hundredths of an inch through the day. I say more drizzle than hard rain.
This outlook is backed by most models. Highs take a big step back with most seeing highs Saturday in the 50s and lower 60s.
Sunday and Monday's temperatures rebound a bit but by Tuesday and Wednesday temps again fall back into the 50s and lower 60s for highs. There is a large national cold air outbreak just after Valentine's Day. We are on the edge of that airmass. A series of low-pressure systems look to zip down The Sierra over the next few weeks to give us cold air, wind, and some scattered showers here and there.
No individual storm looks particularly strong but temps likely to stay under seasonal norms for a bit in the extended forecast. The "slider train" looks to run until the end of the month. I'll give you timing and intensity forecasts for those as they enter the 7 day. Currently, just this Saturday and something around the 20th-21st on deck in terms of reasonable rain chances.
Have a great day Central Coast!