Rain showers that have thus far eluded Santa Barbara County could return tonight, with a more significant storm system on track for Sunday afternoon through Monday night.
Light sprinkles were forecast for Christmas Eve, with a 10% chance of rain forecast tonight and a 20% chance on Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
In addition to precipitation, cloudy skies are expected over the next several days, dropping temperatures about five degrees cooler than normal in most locations.
As the front washes out, there will be rainfall across the northern slopes of the Ventura County mountains and northwest Los Angeles County through Saturday morning. Most areas in Santa Barbara County are expected to receive less than a tenth of an inch, according to the Weather Service.
Through Monday, rain totals between one-quarter and one-third of an inch are expected for coastal areas and valleys, with one-third of an inch up to 1.25 inches across mountains and foothills.
The rainfall rates could bring minor urban flooding to the area, and minor mud and debris flows in and around recent burn areas.
Some leftover, light rain and mountain snow could linger Monday night, followed by dry conditions in the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Frost and freezes are possible Monday night, officials said.
The wet weather will be welcomed in Santa Barbara County, which is currently under moderate drought status, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
So far this water year, which began Sept. 1 and runs through Aug. 31, 2021, the county had only received 8% of normal-to-date rainfall, with the county’s percentage of normal water-year rainfall at 2%, according to the county Flood Control District.