A winter storm rolling through SLO County brought about a quarter-inch to a third-inch of rain on Monday — with much more predicted to fall through Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the coastal areas of SLO County, including Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Cambria and San Luis Obispo. The agency forecast wind gusts up to 45 mph that would last until Tuesday morning, and it warned that the gusty winds will make driving difficult. The advisory is in place until 7 a.m. Tuesday.
The NWS also issued a high-wind warning for interior portions of SLO County, including the cities of Paso Robles and Atascadero. That advisory will remain in effect until 7 a.m. Tuesday. Winds in that area are expected to gust up to 60 mph and could down trees and power lines, the agency said.
Further south, mandatory evacuations went into effect at noon Monday for places below Southern California burn areas.
An estimated 7,000 people in Santa Barbara County were under mandatory evacuations and another 23,300 were placed under an evacuation warning, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Intense heat caused by wildfires can bake the soil and make it harder for water to soak into the ground, causing a higher risk of flooding, downed trees and mudslides, Cal Fire said.
Flash flood watches were put into effect for much of Santa Barbara County, according to the NWS, and the county declared a local emergency in advance of the storms.
The NWS said up to 4 inches of rain could fall in the SLO County area. Farther south, in the Santa Barbara area, foothills and mountains could see about 4 to 7 inches of rain, though some places may see as much as 9 inches, the NWS said.
After this system moves through, the next chance for rain will be on Jan. 16, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.