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Strong storm brings widespread rain, mountain snow, gusty winds, and high surf concerns

Another strong storm is moving through the area, bringing widespread rain, thunderstorms, gusty winds, high surf, and mountain snow. Following a brief lull earlier this afternoon, moderate to heavy rain is expected for several hours. Rain showers linger into Wednesday, but are set to taper in the evening. Rain totals will be between one to three inches for coastal areas and valleys, with up to six inches expected for the foothills.

Several alerts are in effect, including both a Flood Watch and a Flood Advisory. The Flood Watch will be in effect until 5pm Wednesday for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. A Flood Advisory is in effect until 7:30pm for portions of North Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, including the cities of Santa Maria, Lompoc, Orcutt, Los Alamos, Sisquoc, Vandenberg Village, Cuyama Valley, Carrizo Plain and Mission Hills. Flooding is possible and likely during these conditions, especially at or near rivers, creeks, streams, and roadways. A Flood Advisory will be in effect until 9pm Tuesday night for Ventura County, along with a Special Weather Statement in effect until 4:45pm. There will be strong rain showers and thunderstorms.

Snow will fall at lower elevations, with two to ten inches of snow expected for 3500 feet, and several feet of snow for elevations 6000 feet or higher. The combination of snow and powerful winds, with gusts between 65-75 mph expected, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect. It is set to expire at 11pm Wednesday for the Mountains of Ventura County and Santa Barbara County.

The gusty, Southerly winds have been howling since earlier Wednesday. Both a High Wind Warning and a Wind Advisory remain in effect until 11pm Wednesday night for most of the region, with the exception of the Mountains that are under the Winter Storm Warning. Downed power lines and trees will likely impact roadways.

High surf is of a concern, even after the rain has moved past the region. Both a High Surf Advisory and a Coastal Flood Advisory will be in effect into Thursday for local beaches. Flooding of sea water could impact nearby areas, including beach parking lots.

Sunny skies and cool temperatures will prevail by Thursday and into the first weekend of Spring.

Article Topic Follows: Local Forecast

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Christa Kurkjian


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