Residents surprised by unusual snowfall in Santa Barbara County; more rain falls
Editor’s note: Annika Bahnsen, a Westmont College student, joins the News-Press this week as an intern reporter.
“It was pretty much the best day of my life,” said Goleta resident Thomas Swiech as he talked enthusiastically about his experience snowboarding in the foothills of Santa Barbara this past weekend.
“You are up on the mountain in the snow and can also see the Pacific Ocean … How much more can you ask for?”
In addition to Mr. Swiech, the weather has been quite a surprise for many residents as snow continues to powder the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains behind the city. Although sunshine has peaked its way through the clouds momentarily over the past day, the delight of white on the mountains still gives Santa Barbara a breathtaking landscape.
Snow is not in the forecast for the remainder of the storm. The National Weather Service still predicts some rain and cooler temperatures over the next few days, and Santa Barbara County residents should prepare accordingly.
On Monday, the weather conditions stayed pretty consistent across the county. Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria had highs around the upper 50s and lows in the upper 40s. New Cuyama had a high of 50 and a low of 41, the only area straying from the rest of the county’s temperatures.
And there was no lack of rain in the morning, bringing more water to local reservoirs. As of 8 a.m. Monday, current levels were: Gibraltar: 100.7% capacity; Lake Cachuma: 98.8% capacity; Jameson: 100.5% capacity; Twitchell: 44.6% capacity.
Rainfall numbers have slowly tapered off as the storm starts to dissipate. Most cities in Santa Barbara County range between .02 and 0.2 inches of rain, but San Marcos Pass saw .82 inch of rain Monday, a major increase in comparison to other areas.
Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management website (readysbc.org) mentions consistent winter weather conditions for parts of Santa Barbara County and major utility outages in Cuyama Valley.
The National Weather Service currently has no alerts or warnings but expects there to be a series of more storms and rainy weather coming our way.
Additionally, if you are looking for home/business/renters assistance due to the severe winter storms since Dec. 27, there have been updates to the Santa Barbara County declaration centers. The center at Allan Hancock College was permanently closed over the weekend, but a new center will open today at the Orcutt Union School District, 500 Dyer St., Orcutt.
If you need to file for assistance, you can register through the FEMA website here: www.disasterassistance.gov.
Registered for emergency alerts at readysbc.org. There, you will receive emergency alerts via text, phone call and email.