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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 11:46 pm | Fair 47º


Forecasters Say Showers Expected Through the Weekend

Heaviest downpours are likely Sunday; Santa Barbara holiday parade proceeds as planned

The Central Coast is in for a wet weekend, with the heaviest rainfall expected on Sunday, but Santa Barbara’s Friday night Holiday Parade was able to go on as planned.

“We are crossing our fingers that we will not be rained out,” said Kim Mercado, marketing and events coordinator for the Downtown Organization, Friday afternoon.

The storms were expected to weaken as they move south, so San Luis Obispo County and south-facing Santa Ynez mountain areas will get the most rainfall – probably around two inches – according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were expected to stay in the 50s to low 60s on the South Coast, and snow is only expected on peaks above 8,000 feet.

“It looks like the rain will taper off Monday morning, and tonight through Monday looks like the highest amount will be of course in the Santa Ynez mountain range,” said Bill Forwood, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Santa Maria and Santa Barbara were expected to get about an inch-and-a-half in that time, maybe a little more, he added.

“It’s going to be pretty widespread,” he said.

The heaviest rainfall is expected between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday, Forwood said.

“Other periods will just be light rain, like we’ve been having,” Forwood said.

A large area of low pressure over the Pacific is bringing higher waves to California’s coast, but people shouldn’t expect any wind issues over the weekend, Forwood said.

A high surf advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. Monday, since surf sets could reach 6 to 12 feet high, and up to 15 feet in some areas near the Ventura Harbor.

Swells were expected to peak Friday night through Saturday, then diminish, and the NWS also expects dangerous rip currents and minor beach erosion.

High tides will peak in mid-morning hours to around 6 feet, with lowest tide in late afternoon.

“The tides are a consideration too – when you have a big wave, people shouldn’t be going where they are, then the tide combines with the wave and people get washed in,” Forwood said.

Saturday has a 60-percent chance of rain starting after 10 a.m. and will be mostly cloudy. Temperatures will peak around 62 degrees, and there will be winds from 5 to 10 mph.

There’s more rain and wind expected Sunday, with a high of 60 degrees, but Monday and Tuesday should be partly sunny with slightly warmer weather.

Refugio Pass above the Gaviota Coast has been the wettest place in Santa Barbara County, with 1.44 inches in the last 24 hours – as of 11 p.m. Friday, according to the county Flood Control District.

Downtown Santa Barbara and Goleta had received 0.33 inches during the same period, Carpinteria, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez measured just over a quarter of an inch, while Lompoc had 0.16 inches.

The Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services division issued a stormwater runoff advisory Friday, warning residents that contact with contaminated runoff can increase the risk for certain types of illnesses, such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea.

Water carried by the storm drain system is not treated like municipal sewer systems, so people are encouraged to avoid playing in the ocean and creeks for at least three days after a stormwater runoff event, or at least avoid areas near the outfall from drainpipes and creeks that enter the ocean, said public information officer Susan Klein-Rothschild.

Beachgoers should avoid discolored water, which could be highly polluted, and sport harvesters should wait 10 days before collecting shellfish, she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli 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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