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Local News

April Showers Continue as Latest Storm Soaks Central Coast

Winter-weather advisory issued for mountain areas as snow level may drop below 3,500 feet

More April showers arrived Thursday — and were expected to continue though Friday evening — helping to improve rainfall totals in an otherwise dry rain season in Santa Barbara County.

Rain began falling early in the afternoon Thursday, as the first part of the weather front crossed the Central Coast. Totals were relatively small — between a tenth and half an inch — but forecasters were expecting up to 2 inches total in some locations by the time the system moves out early Saturday.

A second wave of precipitation was expected to move onshore late Thursday, with showers and thundershowers likely most of the day Friday. Chance of rain was 100 percent Friday, diminishing to 30 percent Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is a very nice rain event for April,” said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s not going to be a dump. .. It’s going to last a little bit longer than we normally see, which should help the rainfall totals.”

A winter weather advisory was expected to be in effect for Santa Barbara County’s mountain areas from midnight until 9 p.m. Friday, Kittell said.

Snow levels will start out above 4,000 feet, but are expected to drop below 3,500 feet by Friday night, Kittell said, which means local mountains should receive at least a dusting. Higher elevations — above 4,500 feet — could see up to 10 inches of new snow, he said.

The storm is expected to clear out by Saturday morning, leaving behind cold and windy conditions. Sunny skies and a gradual warming trend are expected into next week.

This year’s rain season, which began Sept. 1, has been dry, with precipitation totals well below normal. Santa Barbara, with 10.58 inches as of Thursday morning, had received only 62 percent of average rainfall. Santa Maria and Buellton also have gotten 62 percent of normal. Goleta is a little better with 69 percent, while Carpinteria, with only 8.4 inches, remains the county’s driest community. Sisquoc east of Santa Maria has the best total at 80 percent.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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