Friday turned out to be one of the crazier weather days in recent memory on the Central Coast, with thunder, lightning, hail and heavy downpours, interspersed with occasional doses of sunshine.
The excitement started early, with a powerful band of thundershowers banging across Santa Barbara County beginning about 7 a.m. No major problems were reported, although localized flooding closed some roads for a time and scattered power outages were reported.
“This type of storm, with these thunderstorms, was very unusual,” said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service. “We had a line of thunderstorms come over top of us, and that’s very unusual, to see a line like that in this area.”
The City of Santa Maria set a record for the date, with 1.05 inches of rain, Seto said. Santa Barbara and Goleta each recorded about half an inch, Seto said, although some areas saw much higher amounts due to heavy downpours from the thunderstorms.
Rainfall amounts for many areas were difficult to come by Friday, as Santa Barbara County’s online measuring system experienced technical problems, Seto said, adding that they generally ranged between half an inch and 1.5 inches.
The storm was expected to move east and out of the area overnight, with sunny skies — but cool and windy conditions — on Saturday. High pressure should build into the region on Sunday, Seto said, with above-normal high temperatures expected all next week.