The ridge of high pressure responsible for the recent stretch of unseasonably warm and dry December weather has weakened in response to a low pressure system that passed through the Pacific Northwest.

However, the trailing cold front associated with this system was no match for the dominant high pressure over California and as a result it did not travel southward. Partly cloudy skies on Sunday will mean cooler afternoon temperatures, but warmer overnight lows. Dry and hazy conditions are expected to last through New Year’s Day.

A major change in the weather pattern will occur as a return of wet weather looks more and more likely by Tuesday night as an upper-level low-pressure system will approach from the southwest and produce southerly winds and spread showers across the Central Coast. Rain showers could transition to rain by late Wednesday as an impulse will rotate through with the rain continuing into Thursday morning before turning to showers late Thursday. Given the mild nature of the low pressure system, snow levels are expected to remain high, generally above pass level, with temperatures running several degrees above-normal. The wet and unsettled pattern could continue into next weekend as a trough of low pressure could develop off the coast and steer cooler weather systems into the Central Coast with increasing southerly winds, widespread rain and mountain snow

Santa Maria Temperatures

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

43/69 42/73 46/72 47/75 47/74 47/75 45/75

Lompoc Temperatures

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

41/69 40/73 44/71 46/74 45/73 47/74 45/74

Santa Ynez Temperatures

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

34/70 34/73 40/69 39/69 40/69 39/68 38/69

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Surf Report

A 2- to 4-foot northwesterly (300-degree, deep-water) swell, with an 8- to 16-second period, will arrive along our coastline on Sunday and will remain at this height and period through Monday.

A 5- to 7-foot northwesterly (295-degree, deep-water) swell, with a 14- to 16-second period, will arrive along coastline on Tuesday, increasing to 6 to 8 feet with the same period on Wednesday. This northwesterly swell will further build to 8 to 10 feet, with an 8- to 12-second period, next Thursday and Friday. Combined with Wednesday and Thursday's northwesterly swell will be 4 to 6 foot southerly (180-degree, shallow-water) seas.

Seawater temps

Seawater temperatures will range between 58 and 60 degrees through Thursday.

This Week’s PG&E Safety Tip

At PG&E, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. Rain this week will reduced driver visibility and may produce slippery road conditions. Please slow down on the road and give yourself extra time to reach your destination.

John Lindsey is Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant marine meteorologist and a media relations representative. Email him at pgeweather@pge.com or follow him on Twitter @PGE_John.

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