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January 31, 2023

Sunshine and cooler temps are on the horizon

CENTRAL COAST—After a powerful string of nine atmospheric rivers drenched much of California, took 20 lives and washed away scores of weather-related records, sunshine began drying out the Central Coast this week.

Topping the charts was a whopping 24.5 trillion gallons of water that draped the state since Dec. 26, said Jeff Lober, meteorologist at the National Weather Service of Monterey. In that same timeframe, Watsonville claimed 14.75 inches while Corralitos stacked up 21.17, Gilroy, 12.3 and Santa Cruz, 19.06.

Meanwhile, the statewide historical snowpack average piled up to 245% as of Thursday, according to Scott Rowe, meteorologist at the National Weather Service of Sacramento.

Three counties have now fallen under major disaster declarations: Santa Cruz, Merced and Sacramento.

Lober said a dry pattern now in place will likely carry through the end of next week, ushering in cooler than normal temperatures.

“It will be cooler by a few degrees and even more so at night,” Lober said. “Around Watsonville we’re looking at near freezing temperatures so be mindful of homeless people, to bring in pets and vulnerable plants and cover exposed pipes.”

Lober also warned of king tides through Sunday where a coastal flood advisory is in effect through the weekend. 

“These will be some of the highest tides of the year and there could be flooding in low-lying coastal areas,” he said. “There is also a beach hazard statement posted now due to periods of large swells, sneaker waves and rip currents. Watch for water reaching farther up onto beaches than normal.”

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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