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Expected storm totals falling ahead of system arrival Thursday night

Sunset over Shell Beach ahead of the storm
Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 13:30:49-05

Happy Thursday Central Coast!
We have been talking about it all week but the large storm system is nearing our area and will finally bring some rain to the Central Coast. That being said over the past few runs of the weather models storm totals have continued to fall. We will still see some substantial, much needed rain but it will unfortunately not be nearly as much as previous models expected.
Jumping right in, today will be 10-15 degrees colder than Wednesday and close to 20 degrees colder than Tuesday as onshore flow re-establishes and brings in more seasonal marine air.

The low pressure system that we have been tracking has begun to become significantly less organized as it shifts from an atmospheric river even to a closed off low pressure system on the edge of a transitioning stationary front. This cut off low will be the impetus for rain to push into the Central Coast as the whole system moves west this morning into the evening when it will finally reach the coast.

The low pressure at the end of the system is deepening as it nears us on the Central Coast

That low pressure is strengthening and will create some rotation within the system that will help to get a little extra moisture here on the Central Coast.
Lets talk timing.
Our first rain chance moves in this evening. Likely by the end of the workday for most of the western coastal valleys.
This chance for rain has canceled the Downtown SLO Farmers market. More details can be found here.
Spotty showers remain overnight with the chance of some thunderstorms possible.
Overnight high elevation snow chances. (>3000ft) This may impact roads Friday morning in Santa Barbara county's interior.
Friday morning clearing. Another chance for light rain Saturday afternoon.
The Saturday rain chance will be much less impact, but colder than this first chance.

As far as rain accumulation goes, it is a little disappointing. In the past 12 hours each model run is bringing less and less rain to the Central Coast, pushing the highest totals further inland and south. At this point we are likely to still see much needed rainfall but maximum accumulations will be less than a quarter of an inch, even less in most communities.

The accumulations we hoped for are not a total loss though. There is a chance for some thunderstorms popping up, especially along our south coast where we could see some significantly higher accumulation totals where convection is possible. In the event of a thunderstorm, short lived heavy rain and hail could be possible.

For the remainder of the forecast we will see a clearing and warming trend all the way into the middle of next week. Skies will be clear with temperatures climbing up to the 70s by the middle of next week.

As far as the "further extended" forecast goes it looks that the region will be mild and moisture starved through the first half of march.
Have a great Thursday Central Coast! For the latest on your forecast and for more location specific information be sure to download the KSBY Microclimate Weather App. Full details on the app can be found at this link.