The Central Coast is expected to see some of its coldest days of the year beginning Wednesday, with rain moving into the area and snow falling in some mountain locations.
Temperatures will peak in the mid-50s and lower 60s and bottom out at 40 degrees as cool air and rain travel down the West Coast Wednesday afternoon, said David Sweet, weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Rain is expected to continue through Wednesday evening, with a short reprieve Thursday before a second, weaker system arrives Friday night from the Gulf of Alaska, Sweet said.
A dusting of snow will fall above 3,500 to 4,000 feet in the Santa Ynez and San Rafael ranges, he added.
A third batch of showers is expected Saturday night into Sunday.
“This will be the first real period of winter that we’ll see for this season,” Sweet said. “They’re all coming from Alaska; that’s why they’re so cold.
“This upcoming stretch with systems coming down from the Gulf of Alaska will be below normal temperatures,” he continued. “Normal temperatures for Santa Barbara this time of year would be a high of 64, low of 40.”
Due to the anticipated rain, Freedom Warming Centers throughout Santa Barbara County will open to those seeking shelter Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Warming locations will be at the First United Methodist Church, 305. E. Anapamu, in Santa Barbara; the Good Samaritan Shelter, 401 W. Morrison Ave. #B, in Santa Maria; and at the Bridge House Shelter, 2025 Sweeney Road, in Lompoc. For updates, residents can call a hotline at 805.324.2372.
Santa Barbara will see a high of 60 degrees Wednesday, with 59 degrees Thursday and Friday, and 62 and 61 degrees Saturday and Sunday, respectively, Sweet said.
“By Monday, things will start to clear up and we’ll see a high of 67,” he said.