A rainstorm predicted to begin Thursday morning is expected to douse the Central Coast, raising new concerns for flooding in parts of Santa Cruz County.
The storm is expected to last through Friday afternoon, bringing an estimated 2 to 3 inches in the lower elevations and 6 to 8 inches in the mountains, says National Weather Service meteorologist Alexis Clouser.
Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin says the Pajaro River in Watsonville is predicted to reach 23 feet, well below flood stage. The San Lorenzo River, however, could reach flood stage, causing probable flooding in low-lying areas of Paradise Park and Felton Grove.
The soil, already saturated from punishing storms in January and February, will cause flooding rapidly. While high tides are expected to be higher than usual, wave heights are predicted to be significantly lower than January storms.
Forecasters also call for record-low temperatures in the middle of the week.
Clouser says the storm will be preceded by gusty winds, with temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to the mid-50s.
Commuters, she added, should be careful on their Friday morning drive.
“Take it slow, take it safe and keep an eye on the forecast,” she says.