Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 3:44 am | Fair 52º


Local News

Rain Expected in Santa Barbara County This Weekend

A storm system expected to move through the region this weekend should provide a small measure of drought relief to Santa Barbara County, but is unlikely to add much to seasonal rainfall totals.

"We're not expecting it to be an intense storm with a lot of really high rainfall rates, but we should see at least some rain throughout the area," said John Dumas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The storm should hit in two waves — Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon and evening, Dumas said.

He added that forecast models have not been in agreement on the exact timing.

Rainfall amounts in most areas are expected to be relatively light, between a quarter and half an inch, Dumas said.

This weather system will be colder than other recent storms, with snow levels dropping to about 4,000 feet, he added.

Overall, Santa Barbara County has received only 64 percent of normal rainfall for the rain season that began Sept. 1., according to the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District.

February typically is one of the wettest months on the Central Coast, with the city of Santa Barbara getting an average of 3.86 inches of rain.

However, with the month's end just days away, Santa Barbara has received only 0.8 inches of rain in February.

That lack of precipitation is mirrored in communities throughout the county.

Forecasters were calling for sunny skies through Thursday, with highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid-40s.

Clouds are expected to beginning moving into the region Thursday night in advance of the storm.

Dry conditions should return next week after the storm moves through, Dumas said.

[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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