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Some showers and much cooler Saturday with a slight chance of thunderstorms

Morro Bay 2-10-23
Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 10, 2023

The Central Coast had a very warm second half of the week. Friday may not have been as warm as Wednesday and Thursday but still near or slightly above average for many. Saturday will see a continued slide in temperature as a trough digs into the region with associated surface low pressure.

This will encourage onshore winds and much cooler temperatures, including a chance of some scattered showers. Highs will drop into the 50s and low 60s for most. This cold and unstable air actually arrives early in the day.

After days of offshore flow, the local airmass isn’t particularly moist, so even though the arriving system has plenty of cold air and dynamics it likely will be limited in how much rain it can produce.

Our forecast has been .00-.25” for most. I still like that range, though at times the GFS model has suggested some folks could see up to .40”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some places exceed .25” but I think that should be limited. There is one important caveat/exception.

As I said, the dynamics are good. There is really cold air aloft coming in so there is a slight chance of thunderstorms. The Storm Prediction Center has identified the west-facing Central Coast as a place where some afternoon and evening thunderstorms are possible. Around thunderstorms, a few things need to be considered: brief heavy downpours, lightning, hail, and brief strong winds. So, near any thunderstorm some isolated to scattered areas of decent rain potential is possible.

Some high surf is also possible and a high surf advisory has been issued.

As we start to see this pattern shift there are also significant winds expected for the Santa Barbara county Southcoast:

This is a short-lived event, winding down Sunday morning. Temps try to recover Sunday and Monday back into the 60s.

Tuesday is interesting. Another cold system rips thru the region. The question is rain. Some models like a few showers along with this system while others simply like cold air and wind and are less bullish on showers. Right now I am not including the showers as an icon in the forecast but this could easily be added in upcoming outlooks.

Regardless the longer-term outlook still remains as cooler than average with a series of “inside sliders” moving down the backbone of The Sierra. Locally the impact of these systems is usually to reinforce cold air and wind with some showers but generally low rain totals for each event.