The gray clouds gathering overhead are expected to deliver less-than-debris-flow rates of rain through Thursday. Santa Barbara County officials are advising people to stay alert to changing conditions via Aware and Prepare alerts. The National Weather Service is calling the mix of factors “complex” and states that a cold February has yet to reach a “normal” temperature.
As much as 1-2 inches could fall in coastal areas Tuesday night through Thursday night, and 2-4 inches in foothills and mountains. If the suptropical moisture isn’t blown away by strong east winds, rain in the foothills could exceed the forecast. As of Tuesday morning, a heavy rain was expected Wednesday afternoon and then possibly later on Thursday, but the intensity — 0.25 to 0.50 inches per hour — would stay below debris-flow levels for burn scars over a year old. Snow levels will recede to above 9,000 feet, but near-gale-force winds are likely offshore.
The system, when it lands, is expected to fall most heavily in the Los Angeles to San Diego areas, potentially affecting recent burn areas there.