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Rain, snow, and thunderstorm potentials on the way

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 20:40:27-05

Tuesday afternoon we saw a mix of clouds and sunshine as the next storm system gets closer and closer to the Central Coast.

The latest timing of the storm looks like steady rain will be arriving around 9 p.m. in San Luis Obispo County and around 12 a.m. in Santa Barbara County.

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A good chunk of the storm's total precipitation will occur with this front, however on and off showers are expected through Thursday.

This cold air mass is bringing rounds of small hail and thunderstorm activity, as well as lightning potentials by Wednesday afternoon.

At this time, rainfall totals are still varying between .5-1.00", with potentially 1.5 inches accumulating in foothills with thunderstorm activity.

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The biggest impact of this storm could potentially be snow!

Snow levels start around 4000 feet as the system rolls in tonight but quickly lowers to 2500-3500 feet later Wednesday morning.

Snow levels are expected to stay this low through Friday!

Because of the snow potentials, the Santa Barbara County mountain areas will be under a Winter Storm Warning starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

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Snow accumulations are estimated at 6-12 inches for elevations above 4500 feet.
Lower elevations around 3000 feet may only see a dusting of snow.

Here is a list of the highest highway elevations in San Luis Obispo County from PG&E Meteorologist John Lindsey.

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High surf is going to continue to be a factor Wednesday, with local sets returning to 14 feet and dangerous rip currents.

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High surf should decrease to below 10 feet by Thursday evening.

Stay safe out there!