Rain could be on the way next week

An unusually strong October storm could bring more than an inch of badly needed rain to San Luis Obispo County next week.

The storm is expected to move into Oregon and Northern California late Monday into Tuesday with gale force winds and moderate to heavy rain, according to John Lindsey, a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. meteorologist.

The latest computer models predict four inches or more in some parts of the Northern California coastal mountains, he said.

The cold front will move down the California coastline, causing southerly winds and mid- to high-level clouds over the Central Coast on Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening.

The front is forecast to pass over the county Tuesday night and into early Wednesday, according to Lindsey. “The latest (computer) model runs show the potential for over an inch on the coast and for over two inches in the coastal mountains,” he said.

Like Lindsey, the National Weather Service predicts the storm will “bring the first significant chance of rain for the season.”

The NWS said there is “definitely some real potential for significant rain on the order of one to two inches.” But, the weather service added that “the storm is still four to six days away and there is a bit of uncertainty.”

Any rain will be welcome. The county has been in a three-year drought, and Paso Robles and Atascadero had mandatory conservation measures this past summer. The last measurable rain in San Luis Obispo came from an unseasonal shower on June 5, when 0.44 inches fell. Before that, the last rain fell in April.

Foggy skies this morning will give way to warm sunshine this afternoon. This weekend is forecast to be warm, Lindsey said, with the beaches reaching the mid-60s to low 70s and inland areas reaching the high 70s to low 80s.