A “parade” of storms heading for Southern California could make for treacherous times on land and sea.
While no “blockbuster” event is anticipated, according to Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, a storm set will bring a thorough soaking today on top of the cumulative nature of rainfall “can lead to travel delays, disruptions to outdoor activities and other problems.”
“There will be the risk of isolated flash flooding and mudslides.”
The National Weather Service late yesterday predicted today’s peak rainfall rates could reach up to .75 inches per hour with a series of “moderate to heavy storms” lasting through next Thursday. According to Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, today’s predicted rainfall rate falls below the threshold that would produce debris flows in the recent burn areas.
The Santa Barbara Police Department responded to the forecast by urging motorists to replace windshield wipers and check tire tread before the wet weather returns.
A second storm spinning southeastward from the Pacific Ocean later Sunday brings the possibility of more mainly light rain for Southern California.
With high surf possible, local water-rescue personnel will be ready for action, just like they were on Wednesday, when they responded to five such calls between Gaviota and Isla Vista. One of those calls involved a surfer who got trapped in a cove off Isla Vista and had to be airlifted out by helicopter.
The heaviest rain from today’s storm stretches from Monterey to the Los Angeles area and the greatest risk will be in recent burn areas, where, just as the case after the Thomas Fire, the charred landscape can’t absorb much rainfall at all.
Motorists in these areas should be on the lookout for debris on the roads.
Football fans take note: Rain is not in the forecast when the Los Angeles Rams take on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL playoff game on Saturday.
Today’s forecast for Santa Barbara calls for .62 inches of rain at night.
Saturday brings a break in the precipitation, with a return of heavy rain on Sunday, with 1.15 inches possible in the area at night.
Things dry out again on Monday, but Tuesday is setting up for the prospect of almost 2 inches of rain. While Wednesday sees a 70 percent chance of precipitation, AccuWeather expected just .12 inches.
Sandbags are available first-come, first-served on County Road near the transfer station – and 350 are already filled thanks to some County Jail inmates who spent Thursday morning preparing them in anticipation of the rain, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.