Weather

SLO County sees some sunshine Thursday, but more strong storms are on the way

Under the protection of an umbrella, a woman watches the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas on Jan. 4, 2017.
Under the protection of an umbrella, a woman watches the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas on Jan. 4, 2017. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Despite some scattered showers, Thursday was mostly clear on the Central Coast.

But the break will not last.

During the first of three anticipated storms, Rocky Butte east of San Simeon saw a total of 2.56 inches as of 5 p.m. Thursday. Cambria saw 1.64 inches by that time, and Templeton reported 1 inch, PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said.

Arroyo Grande saw about 1.3 inches, while Cal Poly’s gauge registered 1.25 inches. Cambria saw 1.64 inches, according to San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department, while Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo registered 1.68 inches. (See here for more rainfall totals.)

The National Weather Service issued a high surf warning in effect for Friday afternoon through Tuesday, calling the 20- to 30-foot waves predicted for the Central Coast over Friday and Saturday the “highest surf in recent years.”

The warning means that surf could damage coastal structures and make swimming dangerous.

Total rainfall amounts for Friday into Saturday morning will range from 1.25 to 2.25 inches, Lindsey said.

The largest storm will roll into the region Sunday. The storm is expected to tap into an “atmospheric river” and will bring heavy rain and winds ranging from 39 to 54 mph.

The rain will lighten up Monday, Lindsey said.

Total rainfall from that storm system is forecast to range between 2 and 4 inches.

Cal Fire said Thursday that the agency would be increasing its staff for the duration of the storm systems because of the possibility of flooding and “major incidents.”

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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