Rainfall totals less than 3 inches from storms

But plenty of damage left behind
2014-03-03T00:30:00Z Rainfall totals less than 3 inches from stormsStaff report Santa Maria Times
March 03, 2014 12:30 am  • 

A few lingering clouds today are about all that remains of the biggest storm to hit California since 2010, as the small amount of rain deposited on the Central Coast isn’t expected to have a big impact on water supplies.

Rainfall from the storm that blew in late Thursday and melted away Sunday afternoon, coupled with that from a weaker storm that kicked off the week, totaled less than 3 inches in most areas, according to the National Weather Service.

Seven-day rainfall totals as of Sunday afternoon stood at 2.24 inches for Santa Maria, 1.98 inches for Lompoc and 2.94 inches for Santa Ynez, according to the Weather Service.

However, 3 to 4 inches of rain fell on portions of the Santa Ynez Mountains, officials said.

Seven-day totals for the Five Cities and Nipomo areas were not available Sunday, but the Weather Service reported rainfall reached 2.10 inches in San Luis Obispo, 3.16 inches in the hills southeast of Arroyo Grande and 3.66 inches at Port San Luis.

Meteorologists said the relatively low rainfall will have little impact on reservoirs, as most of the water was absorbed by the parched soil.

Very brief, very low flows were observed at points in the Santa Ynez and Sisquoc rivers and Salsipuedes Creek on Friday and Saturday, but they quickly trickled away.

While the storm brought little in the way of drought-busting precipitation, it left plenty of damage in its wake.

Relentlessly pounding waves and high winds sent 50 feet of the Gaviota Pier into the sea.

Railings and a pipe on Avila Pier also were broken loose, forcing the closure of that pier. The Pismo Pier was also closed Saturday due to high winds.

Officials said waves ranged from 10 to 15 feet in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, with some cresting closer to 20 feet.

Three boats also broke loose along the south coast, with one smashed into the Goleta Pier.

Numerous vehicle crashes were reported in both counties, although most were minor accidents.

Warmer temperatures are forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, when the high is expected to reach 71 degrees before dropping back to 64 degrees Thursday.

Forecasters said a 20 percent chance of showers is expected Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with skies clearing to partly cloudy that night.

Temperatures are expected to climb back to around 71 degrees for the weekend.

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