Thursday will be a nice break before rain resumes Friday

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jan 11, 2023

Wednesday was what I have been calling an “imperfect” break in the storms. It did rain a tiny bit (as expected) but really it was more of an off day than on. Thursday looks even more promising as some upper-level riding and steering push the atmospheric river to the north. I think we see sunshine and temps in the mid-60s for many.

This really nice day is followed by the return of rain on Friday. I think we see rain by mid to late morning and into the early afternoon as a decaying front/trough moves thru the Central Coast. Rain may be moderate at times but I think rain rates stay under .25-50”/hour.

This boundary moves by pretty quickly so totals will not be robust. The issue after that is it appears that activity will be on and off all the way into and possibly including Wednesday. It is a bit of a challenge picking apart rain by day due to the ongoing nature of the systems. But I think Friday itself likely produces less than an inch of rain, light up to .75” for most with perhaps 1” or a little more in the SLO County northcoast and hills.

I'd say Saturday has the same exact potential. I should note these systems are more impactful north than south so the Santa Ynez mountains and Southcoast are not expected to get hit hard. It is probably best to describe the activity after that as on and off rain but active thru Wednesday. Nothing big but days of ongoing light to moderate rains ultimately add up.

Cumulatively, Friday thru Tuesday I like 1-3.5” for most areas with more in the SLO north coast hills and the Santa Ynez mountains. I think the SLO North Coast hills could see 3-5” and the same for the Santa Ynez Mountains, maybe some isolated areas up to 6”, but that's over 5 days not 24 hours.

Considering current saturation I think we should see be very aware, and proactive and take precautions thru the weekend.

Winds will be an issue this weekend and so will the associated high surf and dangerous water conditions. Surf likely builds to 15ft if not higher behind winds gusts up to 30-50mph in areas over the weekend.

The winds will surge from the S and shift to the west with each passing frontal area. We might be getting a little ahead on specifics for the weekend since the timing and intensity could change but these are the hazards that are foreseeable. I would expect most advisories will be related to wind and not rainfall amounts.