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Government and Politics

Rainstorms throughout January expected for Central Coast

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Greta Mart
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Drivers are encountering minor flooding in many areas of the Central Coast.

Stormy weather continues to affect the Central Coast, with minor flooding in areas of San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. KCBX spoke with PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey late Wednesday afternoon to find out more about what's in store. 

“Right now we have the Pacific jet stream blowing basically from Hawaii and traveling right across the Pacific Ocean towards California, and it's interacting with a cold front that's gradually moving down the California coastline, producing copious amounts of moisture,” Lindsey said.

For the 24-hour period between Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, San Simeon tallied 2.6 inches of rain, 3.44 inches fell in Morro Bay, 1.1 inch in Atascadero and 1.8 inches in Nipomo. Just under a foot of rain fell near Three Peaks in Monterey County; three-quarters of an inch fell on the city of Monterey. Precipitation has been more limited in Santa Barbara County, with just over half an inch falling in Orcutt, .02 inch near Solvang and .32 inch in Isla Vista in a 24-hour period.

Lindsey says another strong system is moving towards the coast this weekend.

“The models are indicating a very strong system moving to the Central Coast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as a series of low pressure systems tap into the sub-tropical moisture. This could translate into several days of gale-force southerly winds, moderate-to-heavy rain and relatively warm temperatures.” Lindsey said.  

And the clouds will most likely stick around for a while.

“It looks like the atmosphere is locked into this pattern and we could expect stormy conditions to probably continue to the end of January, with a few breaks between storms,” Lindsey said.

While the current rainy weather is causing some minor rock and mud slides and flooding, it's also replenishing Central Coast reservoirs. With a predicted ten inches of rain falling on San Luis Obispo County's Rocky Butte from this current storm, meteorologists are saying the much-needed precipitation could decrease California's drought status.

“It’s the most rain I’ve seen since December of 2010, that was last atmospheric river we’ve experienced,” Lindsey said. “So this is the most rain in heck, going on to seven years now.”