The already active forecast could get increasingly dangerous Friday into the weekend

Snow in the Santa Ynez Mountains
Posted at 3:26 PM, Feb 22, 2023

11:26pm update from Chief Meteorologist Dave Hovde:

The forecast holding models still like some heavy rain potential Friday into Saturday:

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The already active forecast could get increasingly dangerous Friday into the weekend

This is a very active and complicated forecast. Snow is already falling at higher elevations and later tonight those snow levels will drop. Ultimately, snow could get down as far as 1,000 ft, but accumulating snow is more likely above that elevation. 1-4" of snow is possible where it accumulates down to 1,000-2,000 ft. 2,500-4,000: 1-3 feet of snow, 4,000-6,000: 1-3 feet, above 6,000 ft: 3-5 feet with up to 7 feet possible.

The lowest snow levels are tonight into Thursday morning. Snow levels rise Friday into the weekend but much more snow will accumulate at those higher elevations Friday into Saturday morning. Grapevine travel may not be possible.

Not only are accumulating snows likey, but the winds will also be blowing so we have winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings, and even the first blizzard warning since 2006 issued by the National Weather Service for the Santa Barbara County mountains.

Now, this may seem like the headline, but I think the larger concern is the potentially high rainfall and rain rates possible Friday into Saturday.

1-3" inches of rain is possible through Sunday for most of the Central Coast but for the South Coast, it is 2-4" with 3-6+ possible at higher elevations along with high rain rates. We could have debris flow concerns again and also flight delays may be a concern at the Santa Barbara Airport from Friday into Saturday.

There is thunderstorm potential today, tomorrow, and Friday.

The Weather Prediction Center has the South Coast area in its excessive rainfall outlook for Friday into Saturday.

Surf is also quite high and surf advisories continue.

I can't say this strongly enough: please heed advisories and warnings. Please click on the associated material to fully examine the graphics which contain forecast details about all the advisories. Also, these advisories will change as time progresses so please have a weather app like the KSBY Microclimate Weather app to follow the latest watches, warnings, and advisories.

Believe it or not, more active weather is likely next week and the first week of March.