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Showers, Thunderstorms Could Arrive in Santa Barbara County Beginning Tuesday Afternoon

Showers and thunderstorms could move into Santa Barbara County beginning Tuesday afternoon, where the chance of rainfall lingers through the evening.

A low-pressure system moving across the area will bring a 20-percent chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms that could accompany wind gusts of 25 to 30 mph, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The storm is developing over the eastern Pacific Ocean, he said, picking up moisture from tropical storm Blanca to create unstable air and a difficult to predict amount of precipitation.

Temperatures will remain above normal for this time of year, however, with a high of 78 degrees in Santa Barbara on Tuesday and a high of 76 in Santa Maria.

“It’s not going to be a big cooling,” Seto said.

He expected a relatively light accumulation, if any, but said you never know with thunderstorms.

“It just depends on the size of the storm,” Seto said.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management sent out a message Monday cautioning residents about the possibility of street flooding if heavy rain does fall, along with “cloud-to-ground lightning.”

Bring an umbrella was the call Santa Barbara Unified School District put out to parents and family who plan to attend the La Cuesta and Alta Vista high school graduations at the County Courthouse Sunken Gardens Tuesday. That 4 p.m. ceremony is happening rain or shine, since the ceremony could be moved under the courthouse arch, district spokeswoman Barbara Keyani said.

The chance for rain shifts eastward Wednesday into the Santa Barbara mountains, leaving the area entirely by Thursday, Seto said.

Temperatures will cool back down to normal on Thursday and Friday — 71 degrees— but Seto said it should heat up again for the weekend.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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