Our rain system did do much prior to Wednesday afternoon, a few showers here and there but totals prior to 4:30pm were generally in the hundredths of an inch. More robust activity is expected. Satellite imagery was showing the classic comma-shaped low-pressure system.
The satellite was also showing a cluster of taller cumulus clouds, this indicates greater instability moving in so showers and even thunderstorms are possible into early Thursday. The Storm Prediction Center has had this in their outlooks for days.
The southern part of Santa Barbara County has the best opportunity to get in on the energetic weather, and highest rainfall totals. We’ve been forecasting “up to 1 inch” of rain. This still appears to cover it, but I think the median amount is really lower than that. I do think some higher elevations could see an inch or even a little more, but I think that’ll be the exception rather than the rule. Most folks at the coast should see amounts under .75”.
Snow is still in the forecast for higher elevations. In isolated areas above 5000ft we could see amounts up to 8” in the Santa Barbara County Mountains, but most areas will see less. Right now, snow levels will be about 4000-4500ft. dropping to 3500ft by Thursday morning but again rising to about 5000ft into Friday. Ventura County has a winter weather advisory for snow potential and winds up to 40mph.
Elsewhere there are no advisories for this system.
Thursday morning looks active for the Southcoast but generally, the system will have moved on. Temps Thursday could be in the mid-60s for some.
I actually think Friday and Saturday look cooler with some lower 60s highs before warming Monday and Tuesday next week. Some inland areas could even see some mid-70s.
The 8-14 day outlook flip-flopped on temperature, looking now warmer than average but precip potential is unchanged with more rain in the PacNW but not likely for the Central Coast.