Mostly sunny and dry Tuesday ahead of wet winter storm

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Posted at 5:17 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 09:05:45-05

The central coast is gearing up for a significant winter storm that could produce ample amounts of rainfall across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. The latest satellite imagery was showing scattered shower activity near the coast of northern Santa Barbara County, but conditions should be fair for the morning drive.

Temperatures are going to be on the cooler side again, as daytime highs will struggle to get out of the low to upper 50s range. A high wind watch is possible Wednesday morning as potentially damaging 60 miles per hour southerly winds are going to be back in the forecast Wednesday through Thursday.

Looking ahead to Tuesday night, scattered showers are possible for areas in northern San Luis Obispo County. The rain is expected to ramp up after midnight Wednesday and models are indicating heavy showers across San Luis Obispo County through the Wednesday morning commute. An atmospheric river event is set to take place and stall over San Luis Obispo County through Wednesday night. The rain event will move in over Santa Barbara County as well, but heavier rainfall totals are expected across San Luis Obispo County that could range from 5-7''.

Snow elevations will likely be close to 1,500 and 2,000 feet Tuesday night through Wednesday before rising to 4,000 feet by Thursday. A winter storm watch is set to be issued for Santa Barbara County as damaging winds are set to gust close to 60 mph coupled with snowfall from 3-5''.

Looking ahead to the weekend, a few rain showers are in the forecast, and more rain is expected next week, however, that system will be lighter compared to this week's event.