Rainfall was expected to begin Tuesday night in Santa Barbara County, with the storm system anticipated to linger throughout the area through Friday.
A slight chance of thunderstorms was forecast during overnight hours on Tuesday, with showers and a chance for more thunderstorms throughout the day today, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The storm system is expected to produce three to five hours of “widespread and steady rain” throughout the Central Coast, impacting the Santa Barbara area by midnight Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.
A 70% chance of precipitation is expected tonight, with a 40% of rain forecast for Thursday. There is also a chance for thunderstorms to develop, which would bring higher rainfall intensity for a time and the chance of small hail.
Conditions are expected to clear up by late Thursday or early Friday. Initial estimates show various areas in Santa Barbara County receiving between a half-inch and one inch of rain for the duration of the storm system. Higher rain totals are expected in higher elevations.
In addition, snow levels are expected to drop between 2,500 and 3,500 feet this morning through Friday.
Total snow accumulations from six to 12 inches are expected for elevations above 4,500 feet, down to a dusting for elevations around 3,000 feet, officials said.
— Mitchell White