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Rain arrives on the Central Coast but heavier rain and thunderstorms are possible Wed-Thu

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 28, 2023

In a rain season that seemingly won’t end the Central Coast is experiencing another storm this week. Light rain began for the Central Coast this afternoon and these showers will move from the NW to the SE across the area thru the evening into the early morning. There will likely be a brief lull in the rain at some point Wednesday morning before rain returns Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday.

The rain later Wednesday into Thursday will likely have higher rainfall rate and rainfall accumulation potential. In fact, the Central Coast has been identified by the Storm Prediction Center as having a chance of thunderstorms into Thursday.

Thunderstorms introduce the potential for brief heavy rains, winds, hail and waterspouts and small tornadoes can’t be ruled out.

The Weather Prediction Center has highlighted the Central Coast as having a chance of excessive rainfall into Thursday. This is not because this storm will produce epic rain, it likely will produce less than 2” for most but the rainfall rate potential is high and the sensitivity is also an issue due to saturation.

Snow levels will drop down to about 5000ft. Above that accumulating snow is likely and higher winds. A winter weather advisory has been posted for the Santa Barbara County Mountains.

Other advisories include a wind advisory for the interior and higher elevations of SLO county. The winds associated with the storm will also produce some higher waves into Thursday and a high surf advisory has been posted for that.

We are likely not done with rain for the season after this storm. The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 day outlook calls for cooler than average temps and wetter than average precipitation. Models do show more storm potential but exact details are sliding around a bit from run to run. When these outlooks concur on dates and intensity we’ll talk about those events. But for now, after this storm exits on Thursday it looks like we’ll at least have a dry weekend that will also be a bit warmer.