Rainy Christmas expected as first round of storms hit central coast


Storms are expected to sweep across the state this week, bringing rain and snow, which could complicate travel plans for the vacation.

Pacific Gas & Electric meteorologist John Lindsey said this week’s storms could lead to downpours.

“Total precipitation from Wednesday to Monday is expected to be between 3 and 6 inches, with higher amounts in the Santa Lucia Mountains,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said this December ends in a wet spell, with amounts of precipitation far above normal – especially because it is a La Niña year.

“Usually most of the time in a La Niña year we have below average precipitation,” Lindsey said. “But so far we have much above average precipitation, so we have to keep our fingers crossed to continue until 2022.”

But with this rain, there will be a threat of flash flooding in areas most prone to flooding, as well as debris flows in areas recently scorched by forest fires such as the Alisal Fire burn scar in Santa Barbara.

Lindsey said people traveling for the holidays should take it easy and be aware of the potential for slippery black ice as well.

“Highway 101 passing over the Cuesta Grade, and in particular this bridge that spans the railroad tracks on the north side of the slope,” Lindsey said. “It’s known to see black ice.”

While all of these rains are promising for our local reservoirs, Lindsey said this wet week will not erase the drought in California.

“It’s going to take a lot of rain to get us out of this drought situation,” Lindsey said. “This will definitely put a stop to it, and that’s great news, but we still have a long way to go.”

Lindsey said unfortunately the rain might not last as long-term models show below-average precipitation between January and March. But, he said, those models also showed below-average precipitation in December.

“And look what’s going on right now!” Most of the time the models are okay, but sometimes they are not, “Lindsey said.” So this is probably one of those particular times when the models went wrong, which I think was wrong. is a wonderful thing. “


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