National Weather Service predicts large amounts of rainfall, gusty winds
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles/Oxnard has a clear warning for Santa Barbara city and county residents.
It’s time to batten down the hatches.
The weather service is forecasting copious amounts of rainfall and gusty winds for Santa Barbara County today and Thursday, with 2 to 6 inches expected across the coast and valleys and 4 to 8 inches possible in the foothills and mountains.
The expected amount of rainfall and the potential for flooding and debris flow in recent burn areas is a concern, the NWS said.
Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible throughout Santa Barbara County from late afternoon today through Thursday morning, so a flood watch is in effect.
“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of creeks, streams, and urban areas,” the weather service said. “While the risk of main stem river flooding is low, water flowing through normally dry rivers may be a threat to some homeless communities.
“Along with the rain, this system will bring strong southerly winds, with wind gusts in excess of 60 mph possible across the mountains as well as the central coast,” the National Weather Service said. “Therefore, a High Wind Watch is also in effect.”
A high surf warning has been issued as well.
A weather service rain timing and intensity chart shows moderate rain falling in Santa Barbara from noon to 6 p.m. today. From 6 p.m. to midnight, however, it will be heavy. And from midnight through 6 a.m. Thursday, rainfall is predicted to be very heavy.
From 6 a.m. to noon Thursday, rainfall will be heavy. Then from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, the rainfall will be moderate. From 6 p.m. Thursday to midnight, there will be light rain, and from midnight to 6 a.m. Friday, light rain will continue.
The upcoming Wednesday-Thursday storm is projected to bring 2-6 inches of rain along the coast and valleys, and higher amounts in the Santa Ynez mountains.
According to the University of California Cooperative Extension-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara has received 5.05 inches of rain since September 2022. The breakdown is as follows: September-0.53 inches; October-.34 inches; November, 1.34 inches; and December, 2.84 inches.
The average amount of precipitation for the year in Santa Barbara is 16,3 inches. Typically the most precipitation occurs between January and March.
The water level at Lake Cachuma is 693 feet as of Dec. 30, according to LakesOnline.com. The water level is 60 feet below a full pool of 753 feet.