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Elusive rain plans to sneak in this weekend on the edges of Tropical Storm Kay


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -  We saw it in March and April for a day or two, but the word rain has not been in the weather picture much for months – until this weekend.

Tropical Storm Kay is sorting itself out as it comes up the Baja California coast, and, with that, rain is expected to pick its spots from San Diego to Point Conception.

Santa Barbara County has been drought dry and the showers or downpours will be both welcomed and challenging.

The National Weather Service has been updating its forecasts with every move Kay makes.

All this has started to break down the heat wave and, at least 

Southern California will not have the issues that still remain to the north where temperatures have been among the hottest for the longest period in recent memory, with several days in excess of 100 degrees and many cities around the Bay area over 105 degrees.

Wind direction will play a big role in how the storm comes into the area and what amounts will be recorded from the mountains to the coastal zones.

Right now, the range is from 1/2 inch to about 2 inches.

The wild card will be thunderstorms with big rain events.

Santa Barbara County Fire Public Information Officer Mike Eliason said, "I don't think anyone had a hurricane hitting Southern California on  a bingo card but we have to take it seriously."

Emergency officials say,  after a long dry spell,  the rain will make some roads dangerous  and drivers probably aren't thinking about checking their tires and wipers, but they should, before it gets wet.

An area on San Marcos Pass above Goleta was just paved and it will likely be slick with any rain,.

Other roads can have an oily surface when the first rain hits after a dry period.   

It's recommended you have reliable tires, good air pressure and plan for a longer stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

 In the last five years there have been significant fires that have left behind burn scars. They include the Alisal along the Refugio Coast, Loma on TV hill and Thomas fire from Ventura County to Santa Barbara.
The loose dirt in those areas could move with intense rain.
Eliason said, "within that five-year window you have a good chance of getting a debris flow so we want to make sure people are paying attention to the weather forecast. "

He also warned residents to make safe decisions when they hear the  sound of thunder and see lighting.

"If you hear it roar go indoors. because we don't want people getting struck by lightning.    It has happened before because people have been on the beach  there's been lighting," said Eliason.
In past electrical storms, "people were all lined up with their  arms on the chain linked fence watching the electrical storm and we don't want that to happen."

At Hendry's beach some people didn't believe the forecast.

Diane Alexander said, "I'm skeptical.  I will believe it when I see it."
When it comes to having rain gear ready Alexander said, " I do have an umbrella in my car  and maybe I will get to use it."

The weather system will be remnants of Hurricane Kay, now Tropical storm Kay. Those looking forward to a splash said, "It's OK to have Kay," said Carol Dawson.  "I say bring it on (laugh). I am ready for it."

When it comes to the amounts of rain, Carolyn Savage "I am not worried about that I just would just like to have some  free water."

Article Topic Follows: Weather News
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.

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