Rain showers are expected Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, followed by an even heavier system Tuesday capable of dropping small hail.
Light rain is expected for the Santa Barbara area by Sunday afternoon before a “significant rain band” moves into higher elevations by Sunday evening. Between 6 p.m. and midnight Sunday, local foothills and mountains are expected to receive moderate to heavy rain which will spread south across Ventura and Los Angeles counties by Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The chance of rain is 60% on Sunday and 100% Sunday night, with thunderstorms possible.
Rain rates are expected to range between 0.25 and 0.5 inches per hour, with rates up to 0.75 inches per hour possible. Minor debris flow is possible, though weather officials do not expect a significant threat for recent burn areas.
Rain totals between 0.75 and 1.5 inches are expected for coastal areas through Monday night. Between 1.5 and 3 inches are expected in higher elevations during that time period, “which could meet or exceed our normal amount during a typical month of April, in just one-day,” the Weather Service noted.
Downtown Santa Barbara averages slightly over 1 inch of rain for the month of April, while other areas of the county typically receive between 1 and 2 inches for the month, according to the county Flood Control District.
Heavy showers are possible Tuesday and Wednesday, along with a chance of small hail or ice pelts. Showers may linger into Thursday, according to the Weather Service.
The recent rainfall recorded throughout the county has helped raise the rainfall totals closer to 100% for the 2020 water year, which runs through Aug. 31.
As of March 7, the county had received only 55% of normal-to-date rainfall. As of April 1, the county is at 83% of normal, according to county data.
The Carpinteria Fire Station (67%), the Goleta Fire Station on Los Carneros Road (69%), and the rain gauge located near San Marcos Pass (66%) and the only locations in the county (14 total) that have not recorded at least 79% of normal-to-date rain.
Lake Cachuma was at 73.6% capacity as of April 1.