Expect the winds that have buffeted San Luis Obispo County to taper down overnight, especially along the coast and in the northwest-southeast oriented coastal valleys, according to local forecaster John Lindsey.
But before that happens, a storm front is expected to pass the Central Coast between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight, with strong-to-gale-force (25 and 38 mph) southeasterly winds, with gusts to 45 mph, and moderate to heavy rain, according to Lindsey, a communications specialist at Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
These southerly winds will produce decent orographic enhancement — an air mass forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain — especially along the southwesterly-facing mountain slopes, Lindsey said.
The National Weather Service has a gale warning in effect through 3 a.m. from Point Piedras Blancas north of Cambria to Point Arguello in Santa Barbara County.
A wind advisory set to expire at the same time remains in effect for the mountain areas, according to the Weather Service. A wind advisory means that gusts topping 35 mph are expected, making some driving hazardous.
Expect between a half-inch and an inch of rain in the coastal valleys, Lindsey added. Coastal mountains could get up to 2 inches of rain by Monday morning.
Snow levels are expected between 6,000 to 7,000 feet tonight, dropping to only 5,000 feet late Monday evening.
For Monday, expect partly cloudy to clear skies, with mild temperatures and some night and morning dense fog, Lindsey said.