Now that the Christmas evening storm has passed, dropping .47” at Chalk Peak, I look ahead to tomorrow’s storm. This is what NOAA has to say:
Our focus is now concentrated on the upcoming Sunday-Monday cutoff low and its potential impacts, especially to the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the Big Sur coastline/Santa Lucia Range. GFS and ECMWF runs have been consistent that this system will arrive Sunday afternoon/evening and the center of the low will track directly over our area. That means the southern part of the low will track into the terrain of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Keeping in mind that air rotates counter-clockwise around a low, that means a lot of moist air will be pushed right up those mountains (orographic effect) squeezing out a lot of rain from the clouds. Our entire CWA has a good chance of seeing rain Sunday evening through Monday afternoon moving west to east, but our main concern is where those orographic effects could enhance the rain totals...especially since the Dolan and CZU Lightning Complex burn areas are right along the coastal terrain. That`s where rain rates could be highest and most impactful. Latest WPC guidance has kept the forecast rain totals fairly similar with around a 1-1.5" possible in the Santa Cruz/Monterey coastal terrain, but there could be locally higher numbers up to 2 inches with orographic enhancement. Elsewhere, rain totals will range around 0.25" up to an inch. Could also see some gusty conditions over the coastal waters and across higher terrain. Bottom line, stay weather alert Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon, especially if you`re in the areas of concern mentioned above.