More rain moves into the Central Coast ahead of a very active pattern

Posted at 5:53 AM, Dec 29, 2022

Good Morning Central Coast! I hope you enjoyed the break in our rain yesterday more rain is coming down Thursday and many more chances through the the forecast.

Rain is already moving through the region, drizzle and sprinkles began last night and lasted into the morning hours. There is more rain expected through the daytime hours today as a cold front pushes towards us.

Rain will be on and off through the day today but by early evening the cold front will make it to the region and kick off another round of rain. This is not nearly as direct as the last system, but models suggest anything from light amounts up to .50” is likely into Friday morning. Think of todays conditions more like gloom, not as much heavy rain like we have seen recently.

Then we'll see another brief, and possibly imperfect, break before another system arrives for New Year's Eve. When I say imperfect, I mean that a few stray sprinkles are possible with new moisture supply streaming in ahead of the next storm. It is definitely more of a break Friday than any action.

Saturday looks wet with a stronger frontal system moving in along with some atmospheric river connection. This connection is not as strong as Tuesday's but still enough for another .50-1.5” rainfall delivery locally. Statewide, some flood watches are already issued ahead of this event, including Monterey County and much of the San Joaquin Valley. This is so nearby that we could also see similar concerns develop.

Timing wise the system will reach the Central Coast in the mid morning hours and push south quickly. More wind gusts and locally heavy rain are expected until the mid evening. With how the models look right now rain may be clearing by evening leaving more chilly but drying conditions for new years celebrations. The timing could change a bit to jeopardize that but we will see.

And the outlook after that continues to look active into 2023. Mid-range weather computer models all like a series of follow-up systems possible into the second week of Jan. The 4th-6th is a timeframe to watch for another stronger storm. Models have some alignment on that but start to differ a bit from there out to the 12th. If you add all the potential activity from now until the 12th some models suggest up to 6” of rain is possible, conservative outlooks are more like 3”. I expect more alignment as we draw closer in time to these larger systems. Thanks to all these chances and a continued unstable pattern the climate prediction center continues the indication that we will be above normal in precipitation into the later portion of January.

We have seen a lot of rain so far this month so here is a look at where we stand for a couple locations. Just as a note, the water year and rain season both start on October 1st.

CommunityDec Average RainAnnual Average RainRain In December So FarSeason Rain totals (Oct 1- Dec 29)
San Luis Obispo4.04"19.01"7.91"7.91"
Santa Maria2.12"13.95"3.67"4.46"
Santa Barbara3.04"19.43"4.44"6.35"
Paso Robles2.01"12.78"6.32"7.08"

Have a great day Central Coast!