Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 7:39 am | Overcast 65º


Local News


Latest Storm Expected to Mostly Miss Santa Barbara County

Light rain expected Thursday and Friday; large surf predicted for North County beaches

Red skies at night may be a sailor’s delight, but light rain is in the forecast Thursday and Friday for Santa Barbara County. Santa Cruz Island is silhouetted in this view Wednesday evening from the foothills west of Goleta. Click to view larger
Red skies at night may be a sailor’s delight, but light rain is in the forecast Thursday and Friday for Santa Barbara County. Santa Cruz Island is silhouetted in this view Wednesday evening from the foothills west of Goleta. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

While Northern California is bracing for big El Nino storms over the next few days, Santa Barbara County is unlikely to see much rainfall, according to forecasters.

The National Weather Service is calling for a 30-percent chance of showers locally Thursday, rising to 40 percent on Friday.

Rainfall totals are expected to be small — between a tenth and a quarter of an inch — according to Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“We’re farther down on the (storm) front,” Hoxie said. “Most of energy and moisture will stay to the north of us.”

While there won’t be much precipitation, the storm system moving through the region will create large surf, especially on west- and northwest-facing beaches north of Pt. Conception.

From Thursday night into Saturday, waves of 16-22 feet are expected, Hoxsie said.

“We’ll possibly see a few higher sets,” she added.

On the South Coast, the surf is expected to be only 3-5 feet, Hoxsie said, because of the orientation of the coastline.

Coupled with expected windy conditions, the heavy surf will present serious risks to people both in the water and on the shoreline, Hoxsie said.

“It's really is going to be pretty messy and pretty hazardous,” she added. “We worry most about less-experienced surfers going into the water.

"We also worry about people who go out to look, close to the shore or out on the jetties. You can have rogue waves come through and knock people into the water.”

High temperatures Thursday and Friday are expected in the upper 60s, with lows in the 40s.

Sunny skies are expected to return Saturday and Sunday, with a chance of rain returning Sunday night.

[Click here for the latest forecast]

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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