A rainy day in downtown Santa Cruz on Oct. 20, 2021.
(Kevin Painchauld / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Weather

Santa Cruz County bracing for heavy rain, wind

A storm caused by an atmospheric river is set to hit the area early Sunday morning, dumping up to 3 inches of rain in urban areas and nearly twice that in the coastal ranges.

UPDATE: A Sunday advisory from the National Weather Service included a flash flood warning in the Dolan and Coleman Fire Burn areas in Monterey County from 8 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Tuesday. No current warnings in Santa Cruz County.

A chilly but sunny Saturday in Santa Cruz County will give way to a watery Sunday with the heaviest rainfall likely on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain from a moderately strong atmospheric river will begin hitting the area at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday, and will be continuing through the day and Monday, tapering off slightly later in the week. Sunshine is not expected to fully reappear until Friday.

Though not as strong as the weather system that dumped nearly 10 inches of rain in Ben Lomond in October, the weather service says the system could still be a considerably wet one, with 1.5 to 3 inches possible in most urban areas, and up to 8 inches in the coastal ranges.

On Friday, Pacific Gas & Electric officials put out a news release warning customers of potential outages due to the rain and windy conditions, stating it is “stockpiling power poles, power lines, transformers, and other electric equipment at yards throughout our service territory to restore power to impacted areas as quickly as possible.”

No evacuation warnings or orders have been issued in the CZU Fire burn scar areas, as occurred during the October storm. Despite the heavy rain at that time, no major damage occurred — something experts said was likely due to the fact the rain fell over a relatively long period of time.