WeatherWeather Science


California deluge causes widespread flooding and fatalities

Santa Barbara flooding
California 3-day rain totals
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 10, 2023

The storm train continues this week for California as the latest round of wet weather to hit the state is being blamed for at least 17 deaths, road closures, and widespread damage due to extreme flooding.

One of those lives lost, a 5-year-old boy who was swept away in the flood waters in Paso Robles on Monday. Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo County, about 250 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The good news...Southern California residents will see a break from the rain late this week.

The bad news...more heavy rain is likely to return this weekend.

Areas hit hardest since late this weekend include the Central Valley, western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Central Coast, South Coast, Ventura County and LA Basin.

Storm reports coming out of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have been as high as 15-20" in some areas. That's more than a foot of rain!

California 3-day rain totals
California 3-day rainfall totals (Sunday to Tuesday)

The San Marcos Pass in Santa Barbara County is the gateway to wine country from the Santa Barbara area. The pass sits along the Santa Ynez Mountains, and the weather station here has reported more than 17" of rain since last Sunday.

Pictures from the Santa Barbara area shows signs of devastation that include flooded out roads, cars underwater, as well as businesses and homes with water damage.

Santa Barbara flooding
A kayaker on the flooded streets of Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara flooding

After a quiet end to the week for Southern California, another one-two punch is expected to bring more heavy rain to the state this weekend and early next week.

Another 2-5" of rain will be possible in Southern California, with higher amounts likely from the Bay Area north to the state border with Oregon.

California forecast for additional rainfall through next Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Credit: KOAA weather