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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 1:29 pm | Fair 62º


Rain Continues in Santa Barbara County Friday Morning, Chances Decrease Through Weekend

Light showers forecast for Saturday night and Sunday, but skies expected to clear by Halloween

Light showers hit downtown Santa Barbara Friday morning. Click to view larger
Light showers hit downtown Santa Barbara Friday morning. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Morning commuters traveled rainy streets Friday as an autumn storm continued to move through Santa Barbara County, but forecasters were predicting clear skies in time for Halloween night on Monday. 

The storm that hit late Thursday night brought lightning and thunder, dropping the most rain on Guadalupe, with 1.34 inches as of 9 a.m., and the least on the Gaviota Coast area, with the Dos Pueblos Ranch area registering 0.24 inches. 

As of 9 a.m. Friday, Goleta recorded 0.29 inches of rain, while Santa Barbara was at 0.35 inches and Montecito totaled 0.44 inches.

“It was less than we were expecting,” said Scott Sukup, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “This is the time of year we typically see the first main storms. It’s not that unusual.”

Lake Cachuma accumulated less than an inch of rain. 

The heaviest showers Friday morning occurred in the northern areas of the Central Coast, Sukup said.

Residents in Lompoc had received 0.71 inches, while Santa Maria recorded 0.84 inches, San Marcos Pass with 0.52 inches and Buellton reported 0.49 inches.

Santa Ynez tallied 0.65 inches.

Following Thursday’s showers, there was a 60- to 80-percent chance of rain and possibility of thunderstorms Friday morning, Sukup said.

During the afternoon hours, the chances of heavy precipitation fall to 30- to 50-percent.

“It’s hard to say what time specifically, just anytime in the afternoon,” Sukup said.

A health caution was issued Friday from the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Division.

Health officials urge residents not to swim, play or surf in the ocean and creeks for at least three days following the rain due to storm water runoff.

Residents should avoid areas near the outfall from creeks and drainpipes that enter the ocean, according to the Public Health Department. 

The rainfall prompted the County Office of Emergency Management to issue evacuation warnings for the Rey Fire and Sherpa Fire burn areas, but both were canceled by 8 a.m. Friday

The National Weather Service released a flash flood watch for burn areas through noon Friday.

“We might cancel the warning, but it depends on the rainfall,” Sukup said. 

A likelihood of light showers is forecast for Saturday night and Sunday, Sukup said. 

Downpours and clouds should be cleared up by Halloween on Monday, he said.

“It should be all done by then,” Sukup said.

[Click here for the latest forecast]

[Click here for the latest rainfall totals]

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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