Friday, January 20, 2017

afternoon update....

Been kind of nice out.  Sun popped out for a bit.  A few showers.  A new cell just ran ashore in Marin.  We may not be out of the weeds just yet.  Stay prepared for sudden squalls. Maybe we get lucky and it stays clear through the afternoon.  Maybe this thing just arrived a bit early.  Like the last storm.  It's already dropped 1.6 inches.  That is plenty enough to please the forecaster.

This thing is still not completely ashore with the center of rotation just off the OR coast.  Most of the moisture is south of us, where the drought is still severe.  Sun is trying to break through again.

Twas Duummmmping.

It was just around 5:30 this morning.  A ton of water fell from the sky.  It backed off a bit, then stopped for a while.  Moderate to heavy rain back in at 6:45.  This system feel like it has the squall effect going on.  Look out for sudden heavy bursts of rain through the morning hours.  The rain should let off a good bit late in the day.  With the tenth of an inch that fell before midnight, we are already up to one and a half inches of rain here in town this morning.  Rain started around 1AM, and the half hour from 5:30-6:00 netted .4 inches of rain.  There is a lot of water out there looking for a place to go.  The tide is currently high, so river egress is slow and swelling increased.

We had a short break of no rain, but a quick look at the radar suggest another cell is behind this one.  And we are actually on the northern fringe of the current cell.  It looks like it just unloaded in the Salinas Valley.  Rainfall totals are going to be impressive. Also impressive is how far south this thing reaches; it in fact seems to be more concentrated south of here.  The midnight run forecast about an inch and half more rain by noon, with another quarter inch by night fall.  If that holds true, we will likely have some significant road and power issues develop.  The good news is we are not expecting wind like we saw the other night.  This storm will have some breezy periods, but mostly sub 30mph.

This is looking like quite a little system people, but pales in what is forecast for Sunday into Monday.  At least on the statewide level.  For us here, we see a bit of a break on Saturday.  With a little luck, the sun will come out.  It poked about a bit yesterday, before shielding itself behind a cloud layer.  The next system moves in later on Saturday night with the heavy rain arriving just before sunrise.  We are expecting rain like this morning's persisting for maybe 10 hours.  So the daylight hours on Sunday look pretty wet.  Movie maybe?  Lighter rain overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.  We will end up with several inches.  SoCal mountains and the Sierra are looking at upwards of five inches of precipitation, across larges areas.

Then we get a break.  Details still sorting out, but sunny by Wednesday.  High pressure settling in.  Some warmth developing.  No too much.  Skiing should be the best in years once this all clears out.  If you hope to ski this storm, be wise, plan your trip, and make sure you know what you are getting into.  Mountain travel will be hazardous, and passes will close.  Last week, Rt88 was closed for five days.  So, yeah, be prepared.  Here in town the surf will build today, to a peak tomorrow.  It is going to be huuuuuuuuuge.  And stormy.  If you are venturing out to looks at what fury mother nature can stir, stand well clear of the cliffs.  The danger is not just from the waves sweeping up and over, but the super saturated earth that just wants to flow like water.

I'll post up here on Sunday, but tomorrow is a travel day.  Be safe.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Swift and Early.

I was wondering yesterday around 5PM if this system was just early, or much stronger than anticipated.  1.25" fell in my neighborhood all before 9:30PM yesterday.  We have received only a few hundredths since then.  For a storm that was forecast to rage overnight, this one clearly came in early.  The good news is we have a fairly nice day on tap today because of it.  Chance for showers through the morning, but little rain through the bulk of today.  But this evening is when the fun starts.  The second storm in the series fills in tonight.  Another inch expected through the day on Friday, with showers lingering into Friday night.  The big news will be the surf.  And coastal flooding.

The good news is that the high high is not all that high.  They will occur prior to sunrise.  With the rivers swollen, and a major swell expected to hit, low lying areas will still be prone to ocean flooding.   I'm talking to you Lake Moran.  Anyway, rain tapers on Saturday morning.  On Friday a large, long period well begins to arrive and expected to peak on Saturday at 20 feet at 17 seconds.  That would send Mavs into the 40 foot range.  On West Cliff surf will range from 15' upwards to 30 foot at Middle Peak.  The zone near Mitchell's Cove and Woodrow will likely see surf coming onto the road.  Please use extreme caution when approaching the water this coming weekend.  With that super saturated earth, you can expect for some portions of the cliff to fall into the sea.  Big time stuff here.

About a foot of sow fell in the Sierra since yesterday morning.  Another foot expected on Friday.  Setting up for a good weekend for schussing, but not bluebird.  Another storm is fast approaching behind number two and should be here by late in the day Saturday.  This one is look the wettest of the bunch.  Kind of a flip from the last rainy period that started strong and ended mild.  We will need to watch the Sunday system, but likely it will make the Monday commute hellish.  And cause some local flooding, downed trees and the such.

I've heard a lot of people starting to talk about how we don't need any more rain; that the reservoirs are full and all of this just runs to the sea.  But we do need more rain.  This will help to slowly refresh our ground water and aquifers that have been dried out over the last half decade and more.  Further, more rain helps to flush out the rivers, create sand bars and refresh habitats.  We are not done yet.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And so it begins.

The second series of storms for the month of January are knocking on our door.  There was a quick bout of light rain this morning, but that has subsided.  It did not show on the gauge so I assume it was less than 1/100 of an inch.  Forecast still calls for the rain moving in after sunset.  Heavy tonight.  Heavy enough that the Thursday morning commute could be a bear.  In town the forecast totals were bumped up to an inch and a half for town with over two inches in the mountains.  We could see some serious water drop, as that is the precipitation by noon on Thursday.  Most of that falls during the dark hours of the night.  In fact, 1.69" is the forecast bullseye, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, from midnight through 6AM.  Watch out for flash floods in low lying areas, and keep an eye out for that mud sliding.  It should not be as bad as last week, but the earth is still draining, and this new water will try to run along the surfaces.

This system moves south along the coast by mid day Thursday.  Showers continue through the day.  We hang in the mid 50s.  We could see breaks in the rainy weather, so time it well, and you can play outside.  Just be ready for a shower.  A good afternoon to stomp some fresh puddles, and wear a slicker.  It looks like we will have a dry period during the light night hours Thursday.  By Friday morning, the next system will move ashore.  This one currently looks a bit wetter for the state, but NOAA is forecasting it dryer for Santa Cruz.  We will need to see how that plays out over the next 36 hours.  Expect the heaviest rain mid day through evening on Friday, with showers lasting into Saturday morning.  We might see the sun briefly Saturday afternoon, ahead of the next storm on Sunday.

Rainfall totals for the week could exceed four inches here in town, and up to ten inches in the coastal mountains.  Widespread amounts exceeding seven inches in the north coast mountains and along the Sierra west slope.  A good amount for the south as well.  In fact the Whitney Portal zone is the bullseye for total precip with 12.3" forecast through next Tuesday.  Let's watch these begin their play.