More than an inch of rain could fall in some areas of Santa Barbara County by midweek, thanks to a cold Pacific storm that is expected to sweep into the region late Monday afternoon.
The National Weather Service said the storm dropping down the coast from the Gulf of Alaska is likely to bring with it periods of steady rain, snow at higher elevations, and even hail and a thunderstorm or two.
An 80 percent chance of precipitation is in the South Coast forecast for late Monday afternoon and overnight, the weather service said, with three to four hours of light showers possible. After a brief lull Tuesday, more showers are expected Tuesday night and lasting into Wednesday.
Officials say the cold, unsettled conditions have the potential of producing brief, heavy downpours, small hail and scattered thunderstorms.
Rainfall totals ranging from a quarter-inch to three-quarters of an inch are likely, with more than an inch possible on southwest-facing slopes and near thunderstorms, the weather service said.
Snow levels are generally expected to remain above 5,000 feet but could be as low as 4,500 feet on north-facing slopes Tuesday morning —still well above 3,997-foot La Cumbre Peak looming above the South Coast.
Monday’s forecast calls for increasing clouds, daytime high temperatures in the mid-60s and overnight lows around 50. Wind gusts as high as 20 mph are possible in the afternoon and up to 25 mph Monday night.
Tuesday should be mostly sunny and breezy, with a high near 60. Winds gusting to 25 mph are expected to linger well into the night. The weather service said there’s a 50 percent chance of showers Tuesday night.
The storm’s remaining rain should be gone by late Wednesday morning, and the rest of the day should have clear skies and daytime highs in the low 60s.
Another storm system is expected to bring a chance of rain to the region late Thursday and into early Friday.
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