After a light soaking Wednesday, Santa Barbara and the Central Coast definitely will get some more rain through the end of the week, forecasters say, but how much depends on the track the storm front takes.
Most areas received well less than a quarter-inch of rain Wednesday from the first of two systems to push through the region, according to data from the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department.
Another quarter to half-inch is expected in most areas Thursday night into Friday, said meteorologist Joe Sirard with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
“We’ll have periods of steady rain with lowering snow levels,” Sirard said.
There’s also a slight chance of thunderstorms, Sirard said, which could produce locally heavy downpours and hail.
Mountain areas of Santa Barbara County could get a dusting of snow, Sirard said, with snow levels dropping as low as 3,000 feet.
A winter storm watch has been issued for the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, but not Santa Barbara County.
There is the potential for travel to be disrupted on I-5 north of Los Angeles and other mountain routes, such as Highway 33 in Ventura County and Highways 138 and 14 in Los Angeles County, Sirard said.
Various forecast models used by the National Weather Service show the storm taking differing tracks, which could affect how much rain falls locally.
“There’s a possibility that most of the energy (and rainfall) will stay off the coast, but the jury’s still out on that,” Sirard said.
Partly cloudy skies are expected by Friday afternoon, with sunshine in the forecast Saturday through next Wednesday, Sirard said.
“It should be dry and warmer, with an upper-level ridge of dry air over Southern California, and temperatures a few degrees above normal,” Sirard said. “The weekend is looking really good.”