Rain and wind will lash Central Coast into Tuesday

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 13, 2021

Update 12:52am

From Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde: As I mused in the last update, the Flood Advisory for SLO county has been extended until 6:45am which likely means the Flood Advisory for Santa Barbara county will also eventually get extended. We are starting to hear about some creek flows which will be something to watch overnight.

Update 12:10am

From Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde: Radar watching late at the station. Hearing reports of some standing water here and there which could be an issue for the morning commute. Rain and wind continue to lash the area and all advisories look good, wondering if the flood advisory for SLO county might need to be continued past 12:45am as significant rain continues to fall.

Update at 10:41pm

From Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde: The main rain band is sagging south as expected and some rain rates exceeding an inch per hour are still being observed on doppler, you can see the higher rain rates making a difference in the automated rain reports. All advisories still look warranted. Nearly 3,500 people around the area are without power at the moment.

Update at 9:18pm:

Update at 8:51pm: This update is to include the addition of Santa Barbara County to the flood advisory.

From Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde: I am observing pockets of high rain rates moving into the area, some doppler estimates are 1+"/hr rain rates. I think the flood advisories are needed. We are starting to see quite a bit of the area topping 1" total rainfall and the north coast of SLO county is seeing several inches of rainfall with Rocky Butte already topping 4+" of rain.

Update at 7:53 pm:

Update at 7:19 pm:

Urban and small stream flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected.

An area flood advisory is in effect until 12:45 am.

Minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas is likely with potential water over roadways. River or stream flows are elevated during such events.

Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated moderate to heavy rain falling across the area.

This will cause urban and small stream flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Between 0.50 and 0.75 inches of rain have fallen so far with local amounts over 1 inch north of Cambria.

The winter storm we've been watching for more than a week is finally arriving. The forecasts have remained rather consistent since last week for a rain event capable of producing inches of rain and high winds.

It is a bit of a slow start with the bulk of the storm still positioned north of the area but the main band will move south late in the afternoon and peak rainfall will take place from the evening into Tuesday morning.

Again the outlook is largely unchanged with:

Coast and valley areas can expect about 1-3" inches of rain, while the mountain and foothills may get up to 6 inches in spots prone to storm intensification.

The highest rainfall totals will likely fall on South-facing ridges. Thunderstorms are possible which also can intensify rainfall totals and rain rates.

Higher elevations above 7,000ft. could receive between 1-3ft. of snow. This has prompted a Winter Storm Warning in the mountains of Ventura County. Similar conditions cannot be ruled out in the mountains of Eastern Santa Barbara County.

Here is the watch/warning and advisory scenario:

Flash Flood Watch for Santa Barbara County through 6:00 AM Tuesday. (Includes the Alisal Fire Burn Scar). Rain rates of 1"/Hr. are possible, hitting USGS thresholds for potential debris flow.

Wind Advisory for Coastal Valleys through 6:00 AM Tuesday. Gusts up to 45mph possible.

High Wind Warning for Interior Valleys through 12:00 PM Tuesday. Gusts up to 60 mph.

Tuesday we will see conditions improve quickly in the morning but cool high temps in the 50s and low 60s are likely. Wednesday will be cool but partly cloudy.

Thursday another system is likely but not nearly as intense. Friday through the weekend looks quiet but cool with highs remaining in the 50s and lower 60s for most.

With a strong system like this, it is important to stay up to date with the latest conditions, advisories, and alerts. Download the KSBY Microclimate Weather App for the most up-to-date information.