Rainy weekend ahead for the Central Coast

Cloud coastal skies
Posted at 3:32 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-23 01:40:54-04

Rain is expected on the Central Coast over the next few days. Light rain showers are expected for San Luis Obispo County on Friday with minimal impacts. Expect 0.01-0.10 inches of rain.

Rain is expected in all areas of the Central Coast on Sunday and Monday with the heaviest rainfall likely to occur late Sunday into early Monday. San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County expect to see 1-3 inches of rain.

These rainy conditions could cause roadway flooding and wet commutes, gusty winds in the mountains, dangerous seas and high surf, and possible debris flows in recent burn areas like the location of the Alisal fire.

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 11pm tonight, and a high surf warning is in effect from 11pm Sunday to 11am Tuesday for the entire Pacific Coast from Sonoma to Monterey County. The highest risk is at west to northwest facing beaches, including but not limited to: Ocean Beach, Montara State Beach, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Manresa State Beach, and Marina State Beach. For today`s High Surf Advisory, intermittent large breaking waves of 15 to 20 feet, increased coastal run up, stronger rip currents and longshore currents.

For the High Surf Warning, dangerously large breaking waves of 20 to 30 feet, greatly increased coastal run up, strong rip currents and longshore currents, and increased risk of coastal run up and minor coastal flooding in low lying areas. Breaking waves can sweep people off jetties and docks, and into dangerous seas. Life-threatening swimming conditions and significant beach erosion can be expected.

Today`s high surf advisory is for moderately large intermittent risks and should not downplay the expected risk arriving during the high surf warning. The high surf warning will see much stronger wave action and coastal threats, especially on Monday. Everyone should remain out of the water due to life-threatening surf conditions. Stay off of jetties, piers, and other waterside infrastructure.

A high surf advisory remains in effect from noon Friday to 10pm Saturday on the Ventura County Coast. In that area expect to see large breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet with dangerous rip currents. A more powerful west swell is expected to bring larger surf of 8 to 12 feet Monday and Tuesday. In addition to dangerous waves and currents, this can result in breaking waves and closures to the Ventura Harbor entrance.

A wind advisory is in effect from 11am to 11pm Sunday for the Central Coast including Big Sur. At lower elevations South Winds are expected to be 15 to 25 mph, with gusts 30 to 45 mph, and locally stronger along the coast. At higher elevations South Winds are expected to be 20 to 35 mph, with gusts 40 to 55 mph, locally in excess of 60 mph at ridge level.

Mostly quiet weather is expected through Sunday. Cooler temperatures are expected this afternoon with some very light rain possible for northern San Luis Obispo County. An approaching storm system will bring widespread moderate to heavy rain later Sunday night and Monday, with minor flooding, gusty winds, and cooler conditions possible. Warming and drying are expected the rest of next week.

Preliminary rainfall amounts for this storm system from Sunday night into Monday evening continue to be about 1.00-3.00 inches across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, and 0.50-1.50 inches for Ventura and L.A. Counties with local higher amounts over 1.75 inches. The highest rainfall totals will be along south and southwest facing slopes, such as the Santa Lucia Range and Santa Ynez Mtns. Recent burn areas will be susceptible to minor mid and debris flows, especially in and around the Alisal burn area in southern Santa Barbara County. Projected rainfall intensities of 0.25 to 0.50 inch per hour with local intensities up to 0.75 inch per hour are below USGS thresholds for more impactful mid and debris flows.

A storm system is still on track to impact the area Sunday and Monday. This storm will bring a period of gusty SW winds everywhere, including a 70 percent chance of 6 or so hours of Gale Force Winds north of Point Arguello Sunday Night. This storm will also bring a large swell impacting all areas by Monday and last through Wednesday, peaking Monday afternoon through early Tuesday. During this peak, large breaking waves will pose dangers to boats and divers nearshore, with breaking waves possible over the Morro Bay and Ventura Harbor entrances. The chance of thunderstorms is minimal.

Tonight in San Luis Obispo County it will be mostly cloudy early then low clouds and fog later in the evening. Lows expected to be in the mid 40s to lower 50s. Northwest winds around 15 mph in the evening.

Tomorrow in San Luis Obispo County expect low clouds and fog in the morning then partly cloudy skies later in the day. Highs will range from the upper 50s to mid 60s at the beaches to around 70 inland. Northwest winds are expected to be around 15 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight in Santa Barbara County it will be partly cloudy in the evening. Lows expected to be in the upper 40s to mid 50s. Below the passes and canyons, areas of northwest to north winds 15 to 25 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph with local gusts to 40 mph after midnight. Winds will be the strongest west of Goleta.

On Saturday in Santa Barbara County it will be mostly cloudy in the morning then sunny later in the day. Highs are expected to be in the 60s to lower 70s. Below passes and canyons, areas of northwest to north winds 20 to 30 mph with local gusts to 45 mph. Winds will be strongest west of Goleta.