The storm system exits after depositing big rain, waves, and wind

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 05, 2023

Our atmospheric river bomb cyclone delivered a big punch to the Central Coast and much of California. Inches of rain fell causing some flooding, winds exceeded 50 and 60mph in many places causing trees to fall and cutting power to thousands. Powerful waves continue to be a concern as all of the wind with the storm roiled an angry sea.

The significant rain also caused local reservoirs to jump. Levels increased by 3-18 feet, depending on the lake. Gibraltar exceeded design capacity, at one point peaking around 103%.

The U.S. Drought Monitor also saw improvement, even though 100% of the state is still in drought, the amount of deep drought significantly improved. And what is interesting is that the data comes from Tuesday so the impact of the Wednesday and Thursday rain is not even included in this assessment.

We will get another short, and imperfect, break before the next larger storm. I say imperfect since some light showers are possible Saturday and Sunday with another more significant storm on the way Monday and Tuesday next week.

That next system looks to have some atmospheric river connection again and rainfall expectations for most locations will exceed 1-3", some places could see more than 4".

The extended forecast thru 240 hours looks very active, some models even suggest more than 6-8" of rain is possible cumulatively.

Even during this break between systems, there are remaining advisories for surf and coastal flooding conditions.

In terms of conditions, Friday is nice. Other than some early low clouds and fog in some wind-sheltered spots, partly cloudy skies and mild temps are expected: