The rain brought into Santa Barbara County by an atmospheric river Tuesday turned out to be less than forecast, but it still totaled between about 1.4 and 2 inches in most areas, although there were some notable exceptions.
Damage was also less as a result, with only minor localized mud flows, flooded streets and a couple of downed trees reported as of Wednesday morning.
But the precipitation was enough to push the countywide total to more than 200% of average, according to the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District.
With reservoirs nearly brimming and inflows leveling off, water agencies were reportedly reducing their downstream releases.
Residents will get a couple of days to dry out, but the National Weather Service office in Oxnard is allowing a slight chance of showers on Friday and a better chance Saturday night and Sunday morning.
But forecasters said a potentially stronger storm, possibly fueled by another atmospheric river, could arrive Tuesday, but that date and the amount of rain it might carry were vague as of Wednesday.
With this most recent storm, the amount of rain to date in the water year is 211% of average countywide, according to the Flood Control District.
The water year began Sept. 1 and will end Aug. 31.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Cachuma Lake was holding 177,860 acre-feet, or 92.2% of capacity, and Gibraltar Reservoir, which when full feeds water into the Santa Ynez River and, ultimately, Cachuma, was holding 4,814 acre-feet, or 102.6% of its capacity.
An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons, or enough to meet the average yearly water needs of about six people in most urban settings.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had increased its Cachuma Lake water releases from Bradbury Dam to 7,000 cubic feet per second on Monday in anticipation of the incoming storm, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District reported.
But when the storm rolled in Tuesday and the National Weather Service reduced its precipitation forecast, the release was cut to 6,000 cubic feet per second, the district said.
With the inflow down to 9,500 cubic feet per second and falling, the bureau was gradually lowering the release to 2,000 cubic feet per second.
Twitchell Reservoir reached 57.5% of capacity at 112,024 acre-feet Saturday, according to the Flood Control District, and observations of raw data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the Army Corps of Engineers and Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District released enough water to drop the storage to 102,142 acre-feet by 10 a.m. Tuesday, when the level began to rise again.
By 8 a.m. Wednesday, the storage in Twitchell was back up to 108,571 acre-feet and 55.7% of capacity.
Storm totals varied across the county, according to select locations reported as of 8 a.m. Wednesday by the Flood Control District, with New Cuyama receiving the least at 0.86 of an inch.
San Marcos Pass was doused with the most at 4.23 inches, bringing its total rainfall for the water year to 65.25 inches, although the county building in Santa Barbara recorded 3.59 inches and Goleta reported 3.22.
Other storm totals from around the area in inches included 1.29 in Buellton, 1.40 at Bradbury Dam, 2.04 on Figueroa Mountain, 1.66 at Lompoc City Hall, 1.46 in Los Alamos, 1.44 in Santa Maria, 1.01 at Santa Ynez Airport and 1.64 in Sisquoc.