Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May showers. Or will it just be hella windy.

Sorry folks.  Been busy prepping the new home and have not been posting as much as I would like.  At least the weather been not changing all that much.  Got pretty warm yesterday on the west side of town.  We were definitely poking around the low 70s in the late afternoon.  Try weeding a stone garden in the mid day sun for kicks and giggles.  Makes you start to think that Santa Cruz is a hot place.  Anyway, the big news for this week is the winter storms coming our way to start off the weekend.  And the wind.

In case you have not noticed, we are in the midst of a windy period.  Typical spring condition, with calmer mornings and real breezy afternoons.  Just off the coast, we are seeing 25 knot winds.  The peak of this event should be on Thursday.  Hold on to your hat, and make sure your backyard does not blow away.  The upshot of this is that we may actually see a little wind swell develop.  Otherwise the surf right now is pretty darn flat, and it won't get much better through the week.  By Saturday we see the winds begin to calm a bit, but the open waters will stay choppy for the foreseeable future.

The Crystal Range could be getting more snow over the next few days.  If you want some, it is still out there.  For now.

Tahoe is expecting snow.  Not a whole bunch, but snow none the less.  Say, maybe three to five inches along the highest peaks on the crest.  Enough to give the corn harvesters a nice refresh.  The volcanoes will fare even better.  In fact, Shasta could see upwards of a foot in places.  Powder days in late May are always welcome by the dedicated few.  Our friends in the PNW have been seeing light rain all week, and it is about to get heavy for them.  For the folks in the city and down in Santa Cruz, we see a slight chance of showers for Friday and into Saturday morning.  It would be welcome as it is likely our last chance for natural rainfall before the long summer dry period.  It will be a bit cooler on Friday, but the wind won't be as strong.  Low 60s are expected right along the coast.  But things warm back up into the low 70s for the weekend.  So, get out and enjoy.  And any little rain we get will just make it better for new plants in the garden.

So, the week ahead looks to stay windy for a few more days.  Fog in the morning clears to sun and afternoon warmth.  Clouds and maybe some showers for Friday with the daytime high around 63F.  Sun returns for the weekend, as does 70s.  By early next week, we could be seeing a warm up, especially in the typical spots like Concord and Los Gatos.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Only shot I got of the super moon.  From the car, at a stop light.
So wished I had set up somewhere with the tripod.  Hard driving with that thing around.
Around this time of year, a lot of the other weather bloggers start shutting down because things are getting a bit boring.  No torrential downpours and flooding or major dumps and powderdays.  No hellish commutes because of weather.  No wondering much what the next days bring.  Basically, for the next several months you can expect mostly fogging mornings.  Some will start clear and others will see the grey linger all day.  But, for the most part, clearing between 8 and 11, deepening on where you look.  Warm, breezy afternoons will be likely.  Some days will stay calm and be hot.  And others will stay cloudy and calm(ish).  Moderate overnight lows with fog moving in after dark.  Or it might show up earlier, or not at all.  So, I could be done for the summer.  I mean, nothing big is going to happen.  Perhaps a prolonged foggy spell here, and perhaps a bit of a heat wave there.  There could be good period to plant, or a time to spray some copper on those tomatoes.  Peaches and stone fruit showing up at the market (BTW, real good apricots out there right now).  We might even get one of those killer south swells with no wind.  But for the most part, things are going to remain the same for some time.  But the details still matter.

This week looks pretty interesting.  Basically, it is as above.  Last night the fog never came in, giving us a clear, crisp morning.  Generally, an open night sky will allow for greater cooling.  Foggy mornings tend to be a bit warmer.  But once that sun comes up, we can warm quickly with out cloud cover.  Today could reach into the 70s along the coast, and warmer inland.  You folks tucked up behind the Santa Cruz Mountains (Los Gatos & Saratoga) could move into the 80s.  Back here in Santa Cruz, though, it should be a nice day.  Northwest winds will build through the day, but protected areas, like Cowell's will only see a light breeze.  The rest of the week, we begin to see the high pressure filling the entire north east Pacific, will start to change shape.  This will allow the fog to return and stronger winds to show up.

Kirkwood closes with the Wall looking might fine.  Once things started in January, it was a pretty good succinct season.

Wednesday could start foggy, and it looks likely that Thursday will.  Ultimately, that would make those days a bit cooler.   But by Thursday a gradient will be set up along the Mendocino coast, and start to blow pretty hard.  We will see some of that wind down here, and it will pull the fog out early.    Expect high 60s, but with some wind chill on that.  Friday looks similar.  By the weekend, the high could try to push onshore.  If it does, we will see some warming, otherwise, it looks like light winds, and more westerly.  Good chance for sun and maybe a two day warm spell starting Sunday or Monday.  Then it looks like a return to a typical summer set up through next week.  Could see some strong afternoon winds setting up.

Sure is fun.  A decent sized, if inconsistent south is hitting right now.  That should stick around through the week, with reinforcements showing up by late in the week, and again late in the weekend.  Mornings could be fun.  Watch the fog, and try to get on it early.  Good waves are in town, but with sets every 10 to 20 minutes, crowds can take the fun out of it.  If you like to kite, it looks good right now in the afternoons, with winds increasing through the week.

In short, high 60s to low 70s.  Some foggy mornings.  Winds strong Thursday and maybe Friday.  Decent weekend, with a chance of Sunday starting calm and clear.  With a little luck we could sneak in a 80 degree day here soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bye bye sweetness, hello Juneness.

They call it June Gloom.  It may only be May, but it is here.  May to stay long.  But we have sen the shift.  Things started out brilliant this week, with the coastal fog being brief, patchy and intermittent.  Now if fills in each evening a few hours after night fall, and is sticking around through late morning.  Okay, maybe I exaggerate.  That is not quick text book June Gloom, but it is close enough after such a fantastic winter.  The real gloom is when the sun comes out from 2:30 to 3:30, and the fog wraps up the other 23 hours of the day.  That is what kills our tomatoes.  This is still fine growing weather, especially for seedlings and heat sensitive plants.  But about the weather this week...

Sixties.  Low sixties this afternoon once the sun comes out.  Fog in the mornings.  Burning off around 9 or 10 on the Westside.  A little earlier downtown and a little later on Pleasure Point and points southeast.  Warming up a bit for the weekend and early next week.  Still foggy periods, but looking at about mid to high 60s.  No big changes along the way.  Winds will be typical of this pattern, with an onshore flow, strongest when the fog pulls out, and through the middle of the afternoon.  Surf is looking moderate, with a little NW action happening right now and small S swells continuing.  More south swell arrives on Monday.  Could get fun out there.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Enough said.  Right?  It is pretty darn nice out there right now.  Even with some morning coastal fog, things are clearing up and warming up pretty early here in Santa Cruz.  Downtown was recording 70F already at 10AM today.  Sure, it was in a sunny, wind protected corner, but that ain't too shabby.  Should be moving well into the 70s across the county today and through the week.  No, it won't be as toasty as this past Monday was, but it will be warm.  Basically, we are seeing high 40s as the overnight low and low 70s as the daily high right through this Saturday.  Today, Tuesday, through this Thursday should be the warmest days.  Slight cooling for Friday and Saturday, with a drop to high 60s for Sunday.  The important thing is it will be predominately sunny, with only a little morning coastal fog in the early part of the week.

It is hula season here in Santa Cruz.  Get on down to the beach and move some hips.

So ski season has come to an end for Kirkwood, and every Tahoe resort except for Alpine Meadows, who is planning to spin lifts for a few more weekends.  It was not the best of years, but we did actually receive about 75% of our usual rainfall.  The good news is that most of the major reservoirs are at, or above average levels for the date, and are near capacity.  We may see some water restrictions this summer, but it won't be a major drought.  Regardless, be smart when using this resource.  The next major war will be fought over the water.  long term out look suggest that our wet season has come to a close.  That does not mean we will not get any more rain, but it is highly doubtful we will get much more than a passing storm.  Time to clean up that backyard and break out the lawn furniture.

The short term looks like a great time to get some plantings done.  You will need to keep your soil moist, as Mother Nature is not going to help with that.  What she is providing is some near perfect sun and temperature to really give your seedlings some boost.  If you don't have your tomatoes in the ground already, this is the time to do it.  You may be one of those people who worry about a cold snap in May, but odds are against it.  We are in the process of moving, so we have no summer garden yet.  Might not get to it this year.  Sad.  But, our winter garden is giving us plenty of broccoli and fava beans right now.  So there is still plenty of excitement around here.

In short, a great week ahead, with cool mornings and warm afternoons.  Some breezy weather along the open coast in the afternoons.  Small south swells and a little northerly wind swell is in the water.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting seasonal on us all.

The weather has been typical of as recent.  Thick costal fog in the mornings, sometimes lingering into the early afternoon.  Today, it has already pulled out into the bay along the west side cliffs of Santa Cruz.  Won't be a scorcher, but it will get plenty warm out there.  High 60s right along the water, but pushing above 70F when you back up against the hills.  Not epic weather, but it is pretty damn nice out there, which is typical of May.  May is that month that gets us all excited, about, how tis year, maybe, summer won't be so bad.  Look at how early that fog is burning off.  This could be the summer of 8 weeks of sunshine.  But, all you need to do is think about why they call it June Gloom and not Miserable May.  Because May is usually pretty nice.  As things stand right now, it looks like it will mostly stay similar to what we are currently seeing, and will see this coming week.

Cormorants and ocean spray on a calm day along West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.

Nice, but with a chance of not so nice.  Our friends to the north are still getting pounded.  Sorry Portland. You're a nice city and all, but damn your wet season is forever long.  The real punch for up there is coming early Thursday and again on Saturday, and through the weekend.  For us, here in Santa Cruz, there is some crazy talk of passing showers on Thursday evening.  Will watch for that, but I would not change any plans.  If they even show up, it will be brief and sporadic.  The bulk of this system is staying well to our north.  Maybe Shasta will luck out and get another fresh coat of powder.  Tahoe won't do as well as last week's 2-4".  Maybe the resorts opening up for the weekend will at least get a little buffed out.

We will likely see a touch of cooling as these systems begin moving east.  We will still be hanging out above 65F during the day, so nothing to really worry about.  Like I said, nice, with a chance of not so nice.  Friday will have clearing, but high clouds may filter in over the weekend.  In the Sierra, afternoon showers are not out of the question.  With cold air aloft, there could be snow showers.  But again, we are talking more about snow flakes in the air, and less about accumulating snow.  Powder days may be done for the year, unless you plan a road trip up to Washington.  You should be thinking more about your summer gardens anyway.

If you have not already been out in the yard, prepping the summer plot, you best get to work.  This week and next look like some great times to get plants in the ground.  I know it is hard to get the project of cleaning out winter started, but it needs to be done.  Just look outside at that awesome May weather.  Maybe, just maybe, this will be the summer that tomatoes go off.  You don't want to miss that ride.

For now, mostly sun with some morning fog along the coast.  As these storms approach mid week and beyond, the marine layer will get sent out to see and we will see more sunny mornings.  High 60s to start the week.  Mid 60s for mid week.  Bump back up to finish 'er out, with a a chance of 70s for the weekend.