Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Fab Weekend Comes To An End, More Rain For Mid Week

Today's weather is expected to be even warmer than Saturday. Already at 8AM it is over 40F at 7800'. Not to shabby. Beach weather down at the coast is expected after an early morning fog burns off.

Temperatures begin to cool off on Monday with increased winds and clouds. Slight chance of rain in the evening and likely by Tuesday morning. Tuesday's high are to be 15-20 degrees cooler than today. Rains may be very heavy, but it currently looks like the most severe weather is to stay just north of San Francisco. South Bay can expect up to a 1/2 inch of rain through the next week. Northern Marin and Sonoma can expect much more. The Sierra Crest should receive between 2 and 2 1/2 inches of precip - or 2 plus feet of snow above 8000'. Snow levels may lower to 3000' during brief periods of the storm. Little to no accumulation at that elevation. Crazy April for sure.

After Tuesday , the weather is to remain showery through Wednesday night. Some clearing by Thursday, but to remain cloudy and cool. Sun returns for Friday and the weekend, and temperatures warm a bit (around 70F for a high). Looks like another nice book end.

Water year is looking better. At April 1st, snow pack in the Sierra was below normal. Forecasters recently went out after this last storm to re-calculate. We are now at 138% of normal, which bodes well for our reservoirs. Speaking of which, Lexington is looking very very full, and may be near its limit. And this next storm may help those reservoirs lacking water just to our north.

Currently, the charts show a high pressure attempting to take control by next week. Climatological data supports this forecast (and would have done so a month ago). It is much more typical for us to be high and dry this time of year, with an occasional system breaking through. Still, the charts do not suggest we can stop thinking about possible rains. A slight shift in the axis of the next weather bubble, and we are back into potential rains.

Expect a late season this year on summer produce. The farmers are having a hard time getting out in their fields to plow. The tractors are not loving the wet ground and mud. So prices may be high and supplies late on beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes and more. Be prepared. OTOH, I hear that fruit and nut trees may have a good year.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Violent Belch Threatens Summer, And More Rain For California

If you have not yet heard about the Icelandic volcano, then you are living under a rock. Still, it has disrupted European flights and business. For you Euro folks, and the young types planning on a summer on the Continent, word is the ash cloud from the eruption may effect this summer's weather. Think of it as nuclear winter, of sorts. Of course, the clouds may not linger, shift north or south, and it will be summer as usual. Hell, Europe could use a cool summer - the glaciers are melting after all.

As for us living in beautiful central California, we just enjoyed a wonderfully sunny and warm weekend. I got stuck on the San Mateo Bridge yesterday afternoon, and half way across the bay it was calm and over 90F. Except for the being stuck part, it was awesome. It was even spectacular in the Sierra this weekend, with a very warm Sunday morning.

If you have lettuce or greens in the yard, give them a check. Many of mine bolted over the weekend. Good bye cilantro, hello coriander. What a great time to get those seeds (and seedlings) into the ground. And timing will be good again next weekend - although, not quite as warm.

Today's muggy weather is due to moisture being pushed into the coast ahead of a very strong cold front. Expect rain as early as tonight and during the morning commute. Tomorrow will start off warm(ish) and see temperatures drop significantly through the day. The cold front should pass through the Bay Area around noon. If you are outside tomorrow, you will feel the drop in temperature. Bring your coat for the afternoon.

Rain to continue through the day on Tuesday and into the evening. This storm is really expected to dig south, and pull moisture from off the coast. Good looking system, even for mid winter. A 1/2" of rain or so, for San Francisco. More in the north bay and over 2" are expected in Mendocino and over the Sierra Crest by Thursday afternoon. Expect showery weather to continue Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures to begin warming again, with clearing skies, on Friday. Another spectacular weekend should be on tap. Sunday, the 25th, is closing day for Kirkwood Mountain Resort. Get on up for fresh corn and bikini skiing. It will be a blast. The unofficial long board day is on the 24th. Come on out with your 210cm or longer straight skis and just jump off of something, for crying out loud. And don't forget to ski in jeans.

Ski resorts may be closing, but that does not mean winter is over. Next week we have the potential for another strong system to come through the region. We do not yet have that big summer high pressure sitting on top of us. Possibility of low pressure systems to continue to move through the area into early May. Local water levels are rising with each storm. The Santa Cruz mountains are still quite wet, for the first April in years. With these late season storms, expect Tioga Pass to stay closed into June (or later).

All and all - great spring weather. Warm weather, punctuated with a few cool and wet storms. This weather is keeping the water and snow coming. The ground is moist and warm. The hills are green, the streams are flowing. Just get out there after this next storm and enjoy living in this paradise.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Awesome April - For Those Who Like Water.

The last storm that moved through the Bay Area on Sunday and Monday left us with an additional 2"+ of water. Nice. The water level at the Lexington Reservoir is the highest it has been in years. There is a tree that usually sits on a peninsula on the north shore, just west of the Route 17 bridge. The water level is up to the base of the tree. Good stuff.

Today, Wednesday, we see cool weather with some clouds. Temperatures continue to increase through at least Saturday. We have a very slight chance of showers later tonight and Friday evening, but these systems are expected to move through to the north. Still, patchy clouds should continue.

Saturday has the potential to be awesome. Then, by later on Sunday we see a rather large and slow moving system encroaching on us. As I have been saying all spring, timing will be hard to predict. As it looks now, we can look forward to another bout of moderate to heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday. Showery conditions could persist through Thursday. Current models suggest clearing by the weekend of the 24th/25th.

Resort skiing is coming to a close in the Tahoe Basin, with everything but Squaw and Alpine shut done by the 25th of April. Mammoth plans to spin lifts until July 4th. For those of you willing to work a little for your turns, this spring is looking very nice. Long term forecasts suggest continued storms to effect the Sierras well into the end of April.

As for water, we are still quite low in a number of important reservoirs in the state, while others are at capacity. Snow pack is at about to slightly above average, but water content is still slightly below average. It does not look like we are getting out of this drought this year. Let us hope for another average to above average winter next season.

Soils are warming up. That mid April sun is hot. If you have not got things started already, this is a good time. I just had a few pumpkin volunteers, which is fantastic. These self starters tend to produce the best fruit. I was looking at the remnants of my winter garden yesterday. Kales and lettuces are beginning to bolt. Peas are going off. Chard looks like it may still keep producing. Garlic patch is just pure awesomeness. I've been lazy about getting my summer garden going. Do not follow my lead - get out there and get something in the ground. Most likely we are done with near freezing temperatures and days long heavy rains.

In case you have not noticed, the strawberries have begun. And because of the late bloom in Florida, due to cold weather, the market is flooded. Get 'em while there good and cheap.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Wet April on Tap? Perchance.

Continued warmth and sun through the week and into Saturday. Cooling trend should begin tomorrow or Friday, with a chance of rain by Sunday. Chance of rain really improves Sunday night and into Monday. And unsettled pattern to follow.

Of course, and chart or forecast for more than a few hours from now (in the turbulence of spring) really is not that strong. A variety of models are suggesting a continued pattern of storms throughout the month - timing is the real issue. We could see rain as early as late Friday night, but most likely it will hold off until Sunday afternoon. It will all depend on how this storm splits and moves into the coast. Each day, guidance has brought the track a little north. A few days ago, it looked like we would have a chance of showers on Saturday and dry on either side - while SoCal was to get hit hard with up to an inch or rain. Models have changed. We can not expect more than a quick drizzle.

The month looks active, especially for April. Storms, some significant, are foretasted to hit us about every 2-5 days through the 25th. Models beyond that are just super fantasy charts. Regardless, there does not seem to be a giant high pressure settling on us with the jet running into the Pacific North West and British Columbia. Instead, it meanders between north of here, and even south of here.

This is turning out to be a great April for powder hounds. Of course, don't expect much to be left the day after the sun comes out. it is only taking a few hours for the sun to turn powder to mank. Damn April sun! OTOH, this is great great great weather for gardens. Rain continues to keep the ground moist, while that hot April sun is warming up the soil. Good times.

Short list: rain sometime late this weekend, and into Monday. Mostly fair before then. Chance of another storm some time next week; timing is difficult. Currently looking fair for next Saturday (17th). or it might rain. Who knows?

If the rain does come - pure awesomeness. Usually our water year has ended by now. this could be just what we need to put us over the edge and at least feel like we are out of the drought years. As a note, la nina seems to be setting up for the fall and next winter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tranquil with a Slight Chance of Showers by Week's End

Sorry, I have been out of commission for a few days, bogged down by affliction.

So the past week's stormy weather has come to an end with sunshine and warmth once again a dominant feature. We did get better than expected water and snow pack build up, so I expect the April 1st reports will have us in good shape, but an April 5th report would be even better!

Current forecast is a warm and sun filled center of the week. Cooling to return by Saturday, with a very slight chance of showers overnight and into Sunday. Slight chance to continue through Monday.

looks like more high pressure for the work week, until about the 15th, when we may see a change in the pattern. Being over a week out, we will have to wait and see how the pattern progresses. We are not solid into spring, so expect tranquil weather and coastal winds to be the norm.

Things are staying pretty cool in the mountains, so no strong run off expected just yet. Still, we have the best pack we have seen in years, so this will be a great river run season. Dig out your kayak and neoprene, or sign up for a rafting tour to get in on the white water fun.

Still a good time to get your gardens going. it is not too late for tomatoes and other long growing season crops. If you are thinking about corn, get them seeded soon. Same goes with winter variety squash - if you start them too late, you get small stunted plants. The current forecast is looking great for young seedlings. while we do expect some cooling, it should not get as cold as the past few days. Also - expect a lot of winter greens to bolt this week, after the last cool spell. Time to harvest!