There is some shower and thunderstorm potential in the forecast that is otherwise quiet

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 10, 2022

I know it seems odd to say it is a quiet forecast with the possibility of showers and thunderstorms, but in this case, it essentially is. At the lower levels, we have low clouds at the beaches and some near coastal valleys, which is very stable air. However, on top of that, there is mid-level flow from the Desert SW which is moist and warm enough to produce some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

Activity today is already winding down, driven by daytime heating (though there is a small chance some activity that initiated east of here could drift in our direction later). Later Tuesday into Wednesday there is even a better push for this kind of potential.

The storm potential is caused by an upper-level wind pattern of E-W flow situated in a mid-level trough. This trough is in place now and looks to linger into Wednesday (at least).

The best opportunity for showers and thunderstorms is at higher elevations, but with the west drift of the activity, it could migrate over lower-level locations (where most Central Coast populations are). Modeling is showing most of the potential thru central and southern Santa Barbara county but it really can't be ruled out elsewhere at this point. Most of the timing looks to be later Tuesday into Wednesday morning, then a break with some additional activity possible Wednesday afternoon. Due to the timing, I didn't go with the thunderstorm icon since I think icons should reflect the dominant weather feature of the day, honestly in my opinion you should never assume a single icon is a good forecast.

Outside of this potential, the forecast is garden-variety with night and morning coastal low clouds and afternoon clearing with a sea breeze. Temps are even near average for the next three days before fading into the weekend.

I like the mid-level trough/low to move off later Friday. As it passes over the region it'll reduce surface high pressure and pressure heights which will cool weekend temps. It'll also end the thunderstorm potential.