The Rain Maker Cometh

Unseasonably Stormy Weather Approaching Santa Barbara

With this Sunday marking the official start of the fall season, a bruiser of a wet, windy and decidedly chilly weather system is bearing down on sunny Southern California. With forecasters calling for up to an inch of rain in some places, wind gusts over 25 mph and night time temperatures dipping into the low 50s, the next two days promise to feel more like a mid-winter weekend than an end of summer celebration. The storm is all but a slam dunk to bring measurable rainfall to the bone-dry south coast for the first time in 150 days – a welcomed and wholly unexpected drought-breaker.

With the upper level low expected to first start spinning in the 805 a few hours past sundown tonight, tell-tale cumulus storm clouds indicated the stormy weather to come. Sweeping in from the North Pacific, the storm is expected to bring with it stiff south winds, rain, thunderstorms, hail and water spouts throughout the day on Friday. According to the folks at the National Weather Service, the wet weather should stick around through the early parts of the day on Saturday, with sunny skies once again returning by Sunday morning.

Besides the topsy-turvy drought damning weather, the system also looks to bring a bit of life to our currently hibernating surf breaks with a modest dose of pre-season northwest energy expected to start showing up at local beaches on Friday. That being said, the prevailing south winds should all but ruin what – if any – decent surf this storm produces. For people who prefer to surf the snow, the storm is also expected to drop several inches of the white stuff in the mountains of Southern California with accumulation possible at elevations as low as 7,000 feet.

Another ugly aspect of the incoming weather is the distinct possibility of nasty, Zaca Fire ash-flavored run-off making its way down our creeks and into the ocean. To this end, the National Weather Service is also reminding people living around the Zaca burn area to remain alert for possible flash flood warnings as the storm moves into the area.

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