San Luis Obispo County will see several chances for rain in coming days, but forecasters say any precipitation will be light.
More notable is the end of the warm daytime temperatures. By Friday, the high in San Luis Obispo should be just 60 degrees, well off Sunday’s 88-degree reading.
Local forecasting expert John Lindsey said the weather pattern currently reflects a classic La Niña, when drier-than-normal weather prevails.
The storm track is far to the north, centered over the Pacific Northwest.
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A strong high-pressure area — which makes for dry weather — sits off the California coast.
By the time storms roll south from Oregon, they bump against the high pressure and fall apart, and only chances for rain remain.
Today will start foggy near the coast and then become sunny. Wednesday will feature a return of dry, offshore winds.
Then on Thursday, a weak storm front will arrive, “producing a few widely scattered rain showers,” Lindsey said. Strong winds will blow, and highs on Thursday will be only in the 60s countywide.
“Most areas in the county will not receive any measurable precipitation from this system,” Lindsey said.Clearing will occur Friday, but it will be even cooler. The National Weather Service expects the high in San Luis Obispo to reach only 59 degrees.
After a sunny Saturday, another weak storm develops Sunday.
La Niña is the opposite weather trend from El Niño. In that instance, warm ocean water flowing northward from the equatorial Pacific helps cause the storm track to drop over California. When that happens, lots of rainfall results.
Last year was a La Niña, but in an exception, above-average rainfall fell.
In looking at 150 years of local weather records, Lindsey said there has never been an instance of a second consecutive La Niña year also having above-normal rain. Typically in a La Niña year, rain totals are below average.