Update on Atmospheric River Forecast

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Source: Montecito Fire Protection District

National Weather Service Meteorologists expect the Atmospheric River Rainfall event to continue over Montecito until early Friday morning.

National Weather Service Forecast for the South Coast

  • Steady moderate rainfall will continue over the South Coast through early Friday morning
  • Rainfall totals are expected to be between 3 and 6 inches at the coast and 4 to 8 inches on our South facing mountains
  • The strongest band of rain will impact the South Coast between Noon and 4 pm Thursday
  • Rainfall intensities are expected to be in the 0.5 to 0.75 inch per hour range
  • Slight chance of thunderstorms beginning late Thursday afternoon
  • Thunderstorms may produce rainfall rates as high as 1 inch/hour
  • Strong South-Southeast wind gusts 30-50 mph and up to 65 mph are possible in the Santa Barbara mountains
  • Increased threat of rock falls on canyon/mountain roadways, urban flooding, traffic delays, and accidents
  • High surf and large seas make minor coastal flooding likely


At this point, no evacuation warnings or orders are expected to be issued for this storm system. However, Montecito Fire Department and Santa Barbara Flood Control staff will continue to monitor the status of the watershed and drainage systems to ensure community safety.

Sand and sandbags are available to Montecito residents at Lower Manning Park, located at 449 San Ysidro Road.

REGISTER TO RECEIVE PUBLIC SAFETY ALERTS: If you haven’t registered for emergency alerts, please do so at Readysbc.org. Click on the red icon to register to receive emergency alerts via text, cell or home phone, and email.

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Shasta Guy Jan 28, 2021 12:27 PM
Update on Atmospheric River Forecast

As of 12:23 the "Refugio Pass" gauge on the ridge just west of the Sherpa Fire perimeter is showing an impressive 1.26"/hr accumulation rate per https://rain.cosbpw.net/. This band of rain is slowly working its way east, and we'll see how productive it is when it gets to Goleta, SB, Montecito. I hope it drops to a lower rate when it gets to us.

Shasta Guy Jan 28, 2021 11:53 AM
Update on Atmospheric River Forecast

Some gauges west of Goleta are beginning to measure precipitation per:


Select the "1hr button" after the rainfall box to get 1 hr accumulation rates. The "Gaviota Coast" gauge has an impressive 1.16" 1 hour accumulation rate as of 11:51 today.

Curmudgeon Jan 28, 2021 11:35 AM
Update on Atmospheric River Forecast

Let's hope we get a steady, moderate rainfall that produces good totals without flooding/damage. I hope it will not peter out or slide to the north and miss us as many storms have in the past.

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