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Amid mild weather a storm chance moves into Santa Barbara County

Rain Chances over the interior valleys
Posted at 4:42 AM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 14:28:00-04

Good Morning Central Coast! To kick off our Tuesday there is a bit more dense fog than over the past few days. This may limit some visibility on roadways through the mid morning before clearing by noon.

Overall temperatures will be cooler than previous days with slightly below normal temperatures in the coastal valleys and beaches all thanks to that dense fog from the morning hours. The interior valleys will still be a bit warmer than normal for this time of year. That is important as it helps to bring some more energy into our atmosphere for this afternoons rain chance.

Here is what is going on with our storm chances. At the lower levels of our atmosphere, we have low clouds at the beaches and some near coastal valleys, which is very stable air. However, on top of that, there is mid-level flow from the Desert SW which is moist and warm enough to produce some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

The storm potential is caused by an upper-level wind pattern of E-W flow situated in a mid-level trough. This trough is in place now and looks to linger into Wednesday (at least).

The best opportunity for showers and thunderstorms is at higher elevations, but with the west drift of the activity, it could migrate over lower-level locations (where most Central Coast populations are). Modeling is showing most of the potential thru central and southern Santa Barbara county but it really can't be ruled out elsewhere at this point. Most of the timing looks to be later Tuesday into Wednesday morning, then a break with some additional activity possible Wednesday afternoon.

Because of this risk a flood watch has been issued for the interior valleys of Santa Barbara county from Noon to 10PM Tuesday. Where storms do pop up there is a chance for localized heavy flooding that could cause flooding for some of the region.

Outside of this potential, the forecast is garden-variety with night and morning coastal low clouds and afternoon clearing with a sea breeze. Temps are even near average for the next three days before fading into the weekend.

I like the mid-level trough/low to move off later Friday. As it passes over the region it'll reduce surface high pressure and pressure heights which will cool weekend temps. It'll also end the thunderstorm potential.

Have a great day Central Coast.