If April showers really do bring May flowers, the entire South Coast will resemble a budding botanic garden by the end of the month. A curiously strong winter storm with no respect for the spring season ripped into Santa Barbara County last Sunday afternoon, bringing about record-setting rainfall, flood warnings, and generally soggy mayhem that lasted through Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service, a North Pacific weather pattern ripe with unseasonably western wind is the culprit behind our recent run of decidedly un-Santa Barbaran weather. If forecasters are correct, this won’t be the last downpour of the season, as the long-range charts predict at least two more wet weather systems.
According to the Santa Barbara County Flood District, this week’s wet fest was the 21st significant rainstorm of the season, dropping 4.7 inches of rain in Santa Barbara, 4.26 inches in Goleta, and a shoe-soaking 7.76 inches along the San Marcos Pass. Besides pushing all our local reservoirs above maximum capacity and ensuring healthy swimming holes and waterfalls for the early summer season, this most recent downpour was also responsible for the wettest day on record in the history of downtown Santa Barbara. This record was set on Monday, when 3.9 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period.