Storm may bring month’s first rain in SLO County

The last time San Luis Obispo County did not receive any rain during the month of December was 1989, and so far, this month has been that dry.

That may change Sunday evening, however, when a cold storm originating in the Gulf of Alaska is finally expected to move across the Central Coast and bring showers to the region.

Local weather expert John Lindsey said Friday night that the storm will reach Northern California on Sunday afternoon, then arrive over the Central Coast late Sunday night and remain into Monday morning.

“This system is looking weaker with each additional (computer) model run,” said Lindsey, who has more than 20 years of experience forecasting Central Coast weather. “However, it still looks like scattered rain showers are probable Sunday night into Monday along the Central Coast with snow likely in the southern Sierra. Total rainfall amounts should be around a quarter of an inch.”

Storms in December are an important contributor to the area’s yearly rain total because the Central Coast’s rain season is December through March. San Luis Obispo averages 3.79 inches in December, but so far this year, not a drop of rain has fallen.

Temperatures for the next several days will be cool. San Luis Obispo’s high today will be about 60, then fall into the mid-50s Sunday through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Paso Robles will see similar daytime highs. Overnight lows won’t be quite as cold as this past week, with nights in the North County remaining in the 30s and in the 40s in San Luis Obispo.

Early risers today will get a heavenly treat — a full lunar eclipse will start at 4:45 a.m. and continue to around 8:18. During the eclipse, the moon will turn copper red as it passes through the Earth’s shadow.