Heavy rain and gusty winds expected throughout the Central Coast on Tuesday

This atmospheric river is already bringing light and moderate rain across the region. However, heavy rain is still on its way.
Posted at 4:43 AM, Mar 14, 2023

UPDATE (11:30 AM): NWS issued a Flood Advisory for San Luis Obispo County, which will remain in effect until 3:15 PM. With the amount of rain so far, there are concerns over creeks, streams and rivers overflowing. So far, Cambria has seen 1.27" of rain in the last 24 hours, San Simeon has reported 1.06," San Luis Obispo has gotten 1.54."

There is another Flood Advisory in effect for Santa Barbara County and Ventura County until 4:15 PM. The system is lingering around the Southcoast this afternoon, so there is potential for flooding. So far, Santa Barbara is reporting 0.85" of rain in the last 24 hours, Goleta has seen 0.76," and Lompoc 0.67."

This atmospheric river is already bringing light and moderate rain across the region. However, heavy rain is still on its way.

One of our weather models is showing pockets of heavy rain are expected to push in around 6 AM starting with northern San Luis Obispo County. By 9 AM, that heavy rain will be widespread into the Southcoast, but the northwestern part of SLO County will still be the hardest hit at that hour. Around 11 AM, the downpour will be impacting Santa Barbara giving areas such as San Simeon and Cambria a bit of a break. However, a mix of moderate and heavy rain will remain in the area much of Tuesday.

This is a warmer system, so temperatures are expected to be between the mid 50s and low 60s. How much rain can we expect? Models are showing coasts and valleys could see anywhere from 2” to 5” whereas mountains and hills could reach 4” to 8.”

There is a Flood Watch in effect until 10 pm in San Luis Obispo County.

There is another Flood Watch for Santa Barbara County, but that one expires at 5 AM on Wednesday given that the atmospheric river is making its way to Southern California. Burn scar areas are places of concern given the potential for excessive runoff.

Under the NWS’s Excessive Rainfall Outlook, the Central Coast is under the high-risk category because of how saturated the ground is and the potential for creeks and rivers to overflow.

We have a High Wind Warning and a Wind Advisory in effect in both counties until 10 pm tonight. Under the High Wind Warning, residents can expect south winds to reach 25 to 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. This will primarily impact mountain areas such as the Santa Lucia Mountains. Winds can also peak in the interior valleys such as Creston and Shandon.

With the Wind Advisory, you can expect 20 to 35 mph winds gusting up to 50 mph. Southerly winds will push through the valleys and hills.

The National Weather Service is activating a High Surf Advisory along the coast at 12 PM, which will remain in effect until 6 AM on Thursday. Waves can reach 7 to 10 ft, and there is a concern over dangerous rip currents.

Rain will slowly decrease heading into the early hours of Wednesday.

Drier and cooler conditions are expected to hit Wednesday night into Thursday. However, there is another chance for rain in the horizon this weekend.