Weather News

Rain is making an unseasonable return to the Central Coast — and there might be thunderstorms

Timelapse video: Drive up the coast as the rain breaks in SLO County

Take a scenic drive up Highway 1 during a break in the storm on Friday, March 2, 2018. A strong storm swept through California on Thursday and Friday, dropping more than 1 inch of rain in several parts of San Luis Obispo County.
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Take a scenic drive up Highway 1 during a break in the storm on Friday, March 2, 2018. A strong storm swept through California on Thursday and Friday, dropping more than 1 inch of rain in several parts of San Luis Obispo County.

Rain is making an unseasonably late return to San Luis Obispo County, and thunderstorms are possible.

Some places, including Paso Robles and Lopez Lake Recreation Area near Arroyo Grande, could see between three-quarters of an inch to an inch of rain on Friday, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

But Central Coast areas that are further inland, including Shandon and Creston, are forecast to see about an inch to an inch and a half, Lindsey said.

Areas that are closer to the coast, including San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande, are only expected to receive between a third of an inch to a half an inch of rain, Lindsey said, while Cambria and San Simeon are only expected to get about a tenth of an inch.

“It’s kind of a reverse of what we normally see during the winter,” Lindsey said, noting that this is a decent amount of rain for May. “For this late in the year, it’s pretty interesting.”

Rain is supposed to start at about 4 a.m. Friday, with the heaviest rain expected in the late morning, around 10 a.m., Lindsey said.

There’s a chance of thunderstorms on Friday afternoon, Lindsey said. The areas with the highest chances of seeing thunderstorms are in eastern San Luis Obispo County.

The rain is expected to taper off by Friday night, and it should be mostly dry by Saturday morning, Lindsey said. Some thunderstorms could develop Saturday afternoon.

The next chance of rain storms is forecast for next Thursday evening into Friday, Lindsey said.

Current forecast models are showing 2 inches of rain. If that happens, “this will be one of the heaviest rain events ever to occur in May,” Lindsey said.

However, he cautioned that the models are long-range and subject to change between now and next week.

“It’s so far down the line, you can’t get too excited about it,” he said.

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