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NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard Weather Briefing Update #3 January 17th - January 25th, 2018

 This email is intended for critical weather partners in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Updates highlighted in yellow...

Cold storm could bring rain and mountain snow showers with gusty winds Thursday night-Saturday morning...

High Surf and strong rip currents to affect beaches through Saturday night…

Damaging Surf Likely for Central Coast Thursday afternoon through Friday...


Storm 1 (Thursday Night-Saturday morning)

  • Chance of rain showers for SW California, mainly north of Point Conception
  • Rainfall amounts generally less than 0.25 inches
    • Montecito rain estimates: 0.10 inches with light rainfall intensities
  • Snow showers and strong northwest winds gusting to 50 mph for mountains and higher foothills Friday afternoon through Saturday morning (snow levels lowering to 2500-4000 feet)
    • Snow accumulations 1-3 inches, except 3 to 6 inches possible on higher north facing slopes

Additional Rainfall Potential (Monday January 22nd - Thursday January 25th)

  • Storm energy is now focused across northern and central California during this period. Only a slight chance of showers for San Luis Obispo County on Monday, with a slight chance of showers for Southwest California on Thursday
    • Little if any precipitation now expected across Southwest California during this period

High Surf

  • Central Coast - breakers of 10--14 feet tonight, likely reaching damaging warning levels of 15-20 feet with local sets to 25 feet Thursday afternoon into Friday with High Surf Warning in effect.
  • LA/Ventura counties (west facing beaches) - breakers of 6-10 feet, except 8-12 feet Thursday night into Friday (with isolated sets up to 15 feet for Ventura Harbor)


  • Threat of additional light rain showers across Montecito could hamper recovery efforts.
  • Potential travel delays along Interstate 5 near Grapevine Friday afternoon into Saturday morning due to snow showers accumulating to 1-3 inches and strong winds (snow level dropping to 2500-3000 feet by Friday night).
  • High surf event could bring strong and deadly rip currents, sneaker waves, and minor coastal flooding/beach erosion. Damaging surf likely for Central Coast Thursday afternoon into Friday with potential for breaking waves at Morro Bay and Ventura Harbor entrances and local flooding of low lying beach parking lots.
    • Transportation by sea between Santa Barbara and Ventura could be impacted by high seas and gusty winds on Friday.


Moderate confidence in timing and amounts for Storm 1 including snow/wind impacts for I-5 near Grapevine

Very Low Confidence in any rainfall for next week

High Confidence in high surf conditions this week including damaging surf for Central Coast Thursday afternoon into Friday.


A weak cold front will potentially bring light rain showers to Southwest California Thursday night into Friday, with the greatest threat North of Point Conception. Behind the front, a much colder air mass will move into the area Friday afternoon into Friday night bringing a threat of additional showers, especially in the mountains where snow levels are expected to fall to between 2500 and 4000 feet. Rainfall amounts and intensities with this first storm are expected to be light, with projected amounts at Montecito reduced to around one tenth of an inch. Increasing confidence in snow accumulations and strong winds on Interstate 5 near the Grapevine Friday afternoon

through Saturday morning. Much of the storm activity for next week is now expected to be focused into Northern and Central California, with only a slight chance of showers across San Luis Obispo County on Monday and another slight chance of showers for Southwest California around Thursday. Little if any precipitation is now expected across Southwest California next week.

A series of long period westerly swells will bring high surf conditions through Saturday evening to the Central Coast and west facing beaches of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, along with the threat of dangerous rip currents, sneaker waves, and minor coastal flooding. The peak of the surf event is expected to be Thursday afternoon into Friday, when damaging surf of 15-20 feet is likely for the Central Coast, with local sets up to 25 feet possible.

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Contact NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard at (805) 988-6619 at any time (unlisted).

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