Northern SLO County expected to see heaviest rain from this system

Cambria rain
Posted at 4:09 AM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 11:54:12-05

A slow-moving atmospheric river event is bringing significant rounds of moderate to heavy rain starting on Thursday.

One of the first areas to get the bulk of this system is the northwestern part of San Luis Obispo County. This area could see anywhere from 5” to 10” of rain by Saturday.

Models are showing that Cambria could see close to 6” of rain by Saturday, so this is will be one of the hardest hit areas.

Overall, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are expecting 2” to 4” of rain by Saturday.

On Thursday, Central Coast residents will start to see clouds dominating the forecast leading into the rain event expected in the afternoon.

This is a warmer system, so you can expect highs in mid 50s and close to the 60s.

There is flood watch in effect covering both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties from Thursday at 4 PM through Saturday at 4 AM.

Because of the amount of steady rain expected for hours, you can expect flooding of rivers, creeks and streams. Some of the areas mentioned in this watch include the Salinas, Sisquoc and Santa Ynez Rivers.

A wind advisory will kick in at 4 PM on Thursday as well, and it is planned to remain in effect until Friday at 12PM. South winds could reach 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. This goes to beaches, mountains and interior valleys.

This warmer system is bringing up those lows to the mid 40s or even 50s.

In SLO County, most of the heavy rain action will push in overnight Thursday into Friday, and there is potential for thunderstorms on Friday afternoon.

In Santa Barbara County, Thursday evening will bring moderate rain and Friday will see heavy rain and potential thunderstorms.

Rain will transition to moderate and light as we head into the weekend with clearing expected by Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

While Sunday and Monday are expected to be drier days, there is potential for another significant storm on Tuesday.