Thursday, February 25, 2010

Models wobble, but still seem to hold true

Storm still on track for sometime late tonight into tomorrow. The entire system seems to be slowing down, causing some splitting. This should result in some warmer air and windier conditions. Neither are a blessing for the powder hounds out there. Rain should continue well through Saturday, but we are still expecting clearing for Sunday. Get out there and enjoy that sunny weather while you can.

Next system to hit the Bay Area late Tuesday and last through the day on Wednesday. Another clearing on Thursday with more rain starting some time Thursday and lasting through the weekend. More storms to follow every few days. Looks like the current trend is some wet weather. March should be lion; can can only hope April is the lamb.

Remember that anything past today is hard to forecast, especially when looking beyond 4 days out. While is does currently show a very wet pattern developing, this could all change by the beginning of next week.

This Sunday could be a good time to plant some lettuce and beet seeds. As long as it is not too wet, and we get enough warm sunny days to heat the soil, you could be enjoying a nice May harvest. Avoid putting any potatoes in the ground just yet; the rot would just be too dangerous. Even if you are not planting, this would be a good time to get out and turn some soil and activate the green manure that is (at least in my back yard) wondrous clover.

Snow this weekend is suspect. Sure, we will get some (or rather plenty), but it may be a lot of heavy slop. OTOH, this is the famous Sierra Cement that pastes the steeps and opens up the gnar.

And did anybody notice the strawberries on the market last week. Bummed I missed them. But the warm weather we had produce a decent harvest - even if just for a week. Back to citrus for now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More rain to come. Water levels looking good.

Back in the saddle here in California. Colorado had some fine fine weather last week.

We have already seen the return of a wet pattern with the rain over the past weekend. More is to come after yesterday's sun. Expect rain moving into the Bay Area later today.

Be prepared for a stormy and wet commute tomorrow morning. You may even need to drive home in the rain tonight. Heavy precip overnight tonight, with perhaps a foot or two of snow over the Sierra Crest. Weather breaking with rain tapering Wednesday night into Thursday. Slight chance of showers continue in the north bay.

Sometime on Friday, a large, windy and wet system should slam into the coast. expect heavy rains and snow into Saturday morning. Clearing expected for Saturday evening through at least next Wednesday.

Snow Report: No first handTahoe knowledge here. I've been in Colorado in the beautiful San Juans. Majestic! As for Tahoe: Last week was warm with spring like conditions. Resort levels received from 2-10" of snow over the weekend. Not nearly enough to cover and resurface that nasty crust. Still, we are expecting a good 10-14" at resort level with tonight's storm. Snow levels beginning today around 6000', lowering to 4500' through tomorrow. If we get hit with a similar storm on Friday, the mountains will be good to go with great mid winter conditions over the weekend. Just keep in mind, that as we move into March, that high and warm sun can quickly turn powder to mank. Be careful out there and pay attention to your knees.

Of course you can plan on another nice weekend. The hills are about as green as they get - so get out there for a hike or bike. And as we turn into March over the weekend, it is not to early to think about getting your garden plot worked on. If you have not done so already, it is a good time to plant seeds for tomatoes and peppers. Use an old seedling six pack and put on a sunny window sill in a warm corner (south facing) of your house. They will be ready for transplant in 4-8 weeks.

Winter and rain is far from over. El Nino is weakening - but that usually means more rain for us. As the pattern weakens, the jet stream shifts north, from Southern California to Northern California. So that means we should get the full brunt of storms during the next 4-6 weeks. A few more months to enjoy your Wellies.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Last storm in the series, then fair as far as the eye can see

Is El Nino over? No, not really, but we are getting a solid break starting as early as this weekend.

The final storm should hit us some time this evening into tomorrow. All in all, it is expected to be weak. Just like the last few systems, this one is splitting off shore. The last one hit SoCal pretty hard causing all kinds of problems including mud slides and saturating fields. The bulls eye for tonight's system is expected to shift north.

As the heights increase over California rise, the wet weather moves north. Plenty of snow for Whistler creating havoc for those down hill racers (they prefer ice to powder).

This weekend and into next weeks expect plenty of sunshine and warmth. Temperatures will be on the increase through at least mid week. Great weather for the holiday weekend. Finally. Off shore flow is expected for SoCal, and perhaps up into the Bay Area. This will further push the temperatures up and we may be enjoying some nice mid February 70F temps.

The fantasy charts have the rain returning to the Bay Area as early as Friday the 19th and solid systems beginning to run into the coast by Tuesday the 23rd. The operative word being 'fantasy'. Will need to monitor and report as we get closer. Enjoy the impending sun and warmth.

Monday, February 8, 2010

All New Week, Same Old Variable Forecast

Well, in case you were wondering, last week's weather was not nearly as wet as anticipated. As another week unfolds, it looks like the pattern continues to be variable with a possibility of warm sunny weather returning by the weekend and holding through most of President's Week. A great forecast for those of you taking the week off and staying local.

While the actual reported amounts of precipitation were less that expected, we still did receive enough water to submerge the island in Lexington Reservoir. We finally are looking like an average winter for the first time since 2005. Let us hope that it keeps on coming. We need it. When I drove by the 5000' level yesterday, we noticed the lack of any significant snow pack. My passenger, who happens to be in the water forecasting business, mentioned that lack of snow at mid elevations does not bode well for the forecast they put out April 1st. But we still have some time.

As for this week's weather. Clouds today turning to rain sometime between this evening and mid day tomorrow. Rain should be light with some moderate periods. Then partial clearing through mid week. A return to rain sometime Thursday night into Friday. Clearing by the weekend, with a solid high pressure ridges settling in.

We currently have a weak high pressure ridge on us, but storms are lining up in the Pacific. As they approach, the ridges is causing them to split and are thus very hard to predict. This morning it looks like the bulk of the Tuesday storm will slide down the coast, just off shore, before rolling through Southern California and Arizona. Of course, that could all change. A slight shift in trajectory can make a huge difference in the amount of rain we see.

Current models are showing a solid high pressure settled over the area by mid day Saturday. If that does happen, we should see a longer period of sun and warmer temperatures. Possible return to wet patterns around the 18th. Enjoy that President's Day. It could be a beauty.

As for Tahoe. Pretty darn good this past weekend. Few crowds and copious snow on Saturday. To give an idea of the conditions, on Sunday we skied up toward Soul Searcher to scope out a few lines. As we rolled up, Josh was marking his take off zone and trajectory with a few pine needles. He proceeded to step back up hill 25 yards and get amped. His spotter called out "clear" and the last thing I saw was him mid way through a laid out back flip on his way to a 50' stomp. So needless to say, the landing zones were very good. The continued snow this week followed by a sunny weekend, should make for some nice skiing.

On the produce front, this expected break in the wet weather could allow for the ground to dry out. Great news for root vegetables and asparagus. It could also be a good time to get out to your gardens, turn some soil and plant some seeds or seedlings of hardy vegetables. But remember, that winter is far from over, and a return to wet or colder weather can not be dismissed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Blues Update

Forecast stays on track for a wet weekend beginning some time tonight.

5 day precips forecasts, with the majority of that coming before Sunday noon

Monterrey 2.3"
Tahoe Crest 2.6"
Mammoth Crest 3.0"
SW Colorado 1"

Some decent numbers to help the California water table and the Colorado snow pack. We need that snow in CO to get the tree skiing up to par.

Next week:

Clearing to last through the early part of next week. Blocking high looks to be weak, with lots of over riding moisture. Chance of light rain in the Bay Area as early as Monday night. Most rain to stay from SF north, but inching south as the week continues. Chance of another wet and heavy rain day by week's end.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hump Day Update - 2/3/10

Light rain yesterday. Fair weather to hold today. Still expecting rain and mid elevation snow (4ooo') by late tomorrow. Heavy at times, especially over Firday and Saturday evenings.

Next week still up in the air. The models keep flipping. We are expected to have a deep trough just off shore. The question is - will it break through the continental blocking high?

Sunday is shaping up to be a day of clearing and at least some sun to poke out Sunday/Monday. Enjoy that sun when you have a chance this season. It may be limited.

Confidence now high for a powder weekend in Tahoe. If you plan to go: leave early and allow for plenty of drive time, especially if you are headed up 80 to North Lake. Carry chains, warm clothes, water and food. The drive back Sunday should not be weather impacted, but there may still be snow on the road.

We've temporarily expanded our long term forecasting look to include south western Colorado. Light to moderate (for Colorado) snow over the next few days, then clearing. Possible storms to impact the area beginning around the 10th and lasting several days. Moderate to heavy accumulations. Daily highs ranging from 22F to 30F.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Welcome to February


Crew teams out getting their row on Lexington Reservoir bodes well for the water year. They had plenty acreage to play in.

NPR forecast this morning calls for a chance of rain from Watsonville north. I'd say more like a very slight chance of drizzle, but clouds move in after a sunny morning anyway. Say good bye to the nice sun from the last few days.

While we still have a split pattern until mid week, with storms shredding apart before moving on shore, it now looks likely that we willsee clouds and even some light to moderate showers by tonight through Thursday. Mid day Thursday into Sunday we are setting up for a significant weather makers. Current five day precipitation forecast put 3"(with 2.5" in the Bay Area) of water over the Sierra Crest by Saturday noon, with more to follow in the evening. Match that with cooler weather and we have some good Tahoe conditions continuing (more on that below)

So, fair through this Monday evening, with light over riding showers tomorrow. A punch of moisture to possibly hit up on Wednesday. A mini break Thursday morning (perhaps) and then wet until Sunday. Friday and Saturday looking to be quite stormy. Sunday is possibly another post rain beauty of a day.

Next week still up in the air, as the models are having a hard time determining where the jet is going to set up. We may continue to see very wet weather, or a ridge will sneak in under us and force the jet more toward the Rockies.

As you can see - no idea about is really going to happen.

Epic week for Tahoe beginning some time around Thursday of this week. Yesterday was a beautiful cool sunny mid winter day with decent (if variable) snow in the back country. Get out there in the next few days if you want to do some fair weather touring. By Thursday the resorts should be returning to powder conditions with perhaps a foot on the ground from Tues/Wed. Friday morning should begin snowy and stay that way through Saturday night. Perhaps 3' of snow during that cycle, with possible clearing on Sunday. My guess is that Sunday will still be showery and cool. This system is to come in cold, so even if we get a high pressure following the snow, it should stay good through mid week.

For those of you driving up on Friday night or Saturday morning, be prepared for slow traffic, bring chains and winter survival pack (food, water, warm clothes).

And as always, give space and time on your commutes during the rainy season. This mornings traffic report was the first I have hears in some time without major accidents. Yesterday on 88 a 4x4 had to be towed out of a snow bank - lucky for them the bank was still soft.

As for the month? Expect more winter. Trend is looking to be cool and wet.