Forget a white Christmas; the Central Coast is expected to have a gray — and wet — holiday.
Flood and high surf advisories were issued for parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties Thursday and were expected to continue through Christmas Day as a cold front moves through the area, bringing scattered showers and wind.
According to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey, the cold front moving through the county was expected to bring southerly winds and rain on Christmas Eve, with some clouds and scattered rain showers remaining into Friday.
Total rainfall amounts should range between about a quarter-inch and a half-inch, he predicted.
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Temperatures will range from the low 20s to mid-50s in the inland valleys throughout the weekend, and from the low 30s to low 60s along the coast.
The National Weather Service also warned of large swells and high surf on beaches in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties through Friday. The largest surf will be along exposed west- and northwest-facing beaches such as San Simeon, Cambria and Morro Bay.
According to the service, there is also a risk of minor coastal flooding along Central Coast beaches, so the public is encouraged to avoid low-lying coastal areas. The flood advisory will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Friday, and the high surf advisory until 1 p.m. Friday.
Statewide, the snow level is expected to drop to about 3,000 feet early Friday.
The National Weather Service is advising of hazardous driving conditions through the Grapevine north of Los Angeles on Interstate 5 because of the snow and icy conditions.
This could create traffic delays locally if the freeway is shut down like it was Oct. 16 when mudslides rerouted cars and tractor trailers to Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County.