Flooding rain potential in the forecast as the current storm gets stronger

Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-23 20:40:27-05

The snow the KSBY weather team was expecting arrived as expected, and more snow is actually likely but snow levels will be a bit higher (1500ft vs 1000 or lower like we saw this morning).

The emphasis in this coming forecast will actually be the rain potential. Rain will pick up later this evening and heavy rains are possible (even likely) into and thru Friday.

This system has a lot of integrated moisture. For Southern California it is a legitimate “atmospheric river” event, locally we are very close but not official on the AR scale.

Suffice to say that there is enough moisture to fuel these high rainfall rates and totals. Additionally, thunderstorms are still possible into Friday. (Saturday is interesting, while activity will die down there is a lot of twist in the atmosphere. Thunderstorms, should they form, could form waterspouts or cold air funnels. Just something to watch).

Most of the Central Coast will likely see 1-3” of rain but 2-5” is possible and the Southcoast hills and mountains could see 4-6” of rain.

Rain rates are also an issue with .50-1”/hour rain. Some heavy rain is expected in areas that have seen evacuations before this year due to flood potential. There is a flood watch in place for parts of Santa Barbara County.

Heavy snow will develop at high elevations across Southern California and there is concern that this could impact Grapevine travel Friday and potentially Saturday as well. This could divert traffic to the 101 thru the Central Coast.

Temperatures are an ongoing issue with lows in the 30s and 40s and very weak daytime high recovery into the 40s and 50s. This will mean folks may have to run the heat quite a bit in the forecast for the next week.

There are additional rain systems likely next week, as early as Monday but a more moderate system Tuesday and Wednesday. Not as strong as this system but another .50-1.5” is possible with 1.5-3” additional rain in the mountains.