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Several weather alerts issued ahead of powerful storm system

Friday was a nice break between systems and was a mostly dry day. Temperatures remained cool and below seasonal average, with partly cloudy skies. A significant and powerful storm system will move in over the weekend, bringing consistent, widespread moderate to heavy rainfall for several hours. An upper low from the North and from the West will combine, tap into the moisture from the Atmospheric River, and park itself over the Central Coast for many hours.

Light rainfall will begin Saturday afternoon, with the heaviest rain beginning between late morning and early afternoon Sunday and lingering into early Monday. Projected rainfall totals are between 3-6 inches, meaning there will be a serious concern of flash-flooding in the entire region. The South Coast and Ventura County are expected to get hit the hardest by this storm system.

Several Weather Alerts have already been issued by the National Weather Service, with more expected to pop up as the event begins. A Flood Watch has been issued for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. It will be in effect from 1am Sunday morning until 4pm Tuesday afternoon. Expect flooding of roadways, creeks, and streams, with concern for the Ventura River flooding.

The heavy rain will be accompanied by strong gusty winds, which has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a High Wind Watch for the region. It will be in effect from 10pm Saturday until 10pm Sunday. Wind speeds will be between 35-45 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph. The strongest winds are expected in San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County.

A High Surf Advisory remains in place until 9pm Monday evening for all our local beaches. Central Coast Beaches will have waves between 10-14 feet, with local sets up to 16 feet. For South Coast and Ventura County Beaches, waves will be between 8-12 feet. High surf will peak Sunday and there are dangerous rip currents. It is best to avoid being in or near the water during this time to ensure your safety.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Northern Ventura County Mountains and will be in effect from 10pm Saturday until 4am Tuesday. 2-4 feet of snow will fall at 7,000 feet or higher, 10-20 inches will fall between 6,000-7,000 feet, and up to 8 inches at 5,000 feet. Travel to and through the Mountains will be difficult, as very gusty winds are expected as well.

A chance of rain lingers into Tuesday, but the heaviest rain will fall Sunday and Monday. It is best to stay off the roads during the time being and prepare during the calm before the storm.

Article Topic Follows: Local Forecast

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Christa Kurkjian


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