After a winter that so far has been mostly sunny and dry, clouds and rain are forecast to return to the Central Coast early next week, and computer models hint that stormy weather could last into March.
Today and Sunday will be beautiful, with crisp, clear mornings and warm and sunny afternoons, said John Lindsey, who has been forecasting Central Coast weather for more than 20 years.
But clouds will start building up Monday, the result of a storm system that will work its way south along the California coast from Oregon.
“The aforementioned weather system will mark the beginning of a major weather pattern change, ending the mostly dry period seen since the beginning of the year,” Lindsey said Friday.
The storm system will cross over San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday, with rain totals nearing an inch, Lindsey said. Snow levels will drop to the 3,000-foot mark in the Sierra by Wednesday.
Lindsey said Thursday will bring a break in the rain, but then a second storm system, with heavier rain and stronger winds, will arrive Friday and will douse the President’s Day weekend.
Temperatures will be cooler, with daytime highs in the 50s and overnight lows in the 30s and 40s.The National Weather Service forecast agrees with Lindsey’s overall assessment but is less certain on how much rain might come.
“None of these storms really tap into a lot of moisture,” the weather service notes in its forecast, “but the combination of a favorable jet (stream), cold air and southerly flow should be enough to trigger some periods of heavier (precipitation) later in the week.”
Beyond President’s Day, Lindsey believes “wet and cool weather could continue through the end of February, and possibly into early March.”
Historically, January, February and March are the three wettest months on the Central Coast.
But this past January, there were only three days that had rainfall, measuring just 2.56 inches. January normally averages 5.17 inches of rain.
February is the second-wettest month, based on historical averages, but so far has been dry.