Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The days of small hurricane swell and calm winds will soon be a thing of the past.

If you are a surfer (and by that, I mean an addict) you may have been enjoying life over the past few days.  An upper level low pressure combined with small, steep hurricane swell and small, steep nw wind swell to give us a few days of super fun surfing.  It was not all time and far from epic, but there have been waves.  And with that low pressure, we have been devoid of wind for almost a week now.  Mornings continue with high fog hanging around the bay, but Monterey has been in view most of the week.  Like I said, high fog.  Kind of like clouds.  By early afternoon, much of that has burned off giving way to partly sunny skies.  And the ocean has been smooth and beautiful.  Such a shade of cobalt to make one break into a smile.  If you are into that sort of thing.

Mid morning on Hemlock Lake, New York.  If you have not been, go paddle a finger lake.

Well, our weather patterns are changing again, as we see our usual high pressure start moving back into place by this weekend.  The good news is some warmer air should pump into the region, bringing us squarely back into the mid 70s along the coast here.  And it looks like we may be spared the intrusion of the marine layer, with sunny morning on tap starting as early as Friday.  I will believe that when I see it.  Still, nothing like the fog/rain/drizzle we had a few days ago.  Things got wet on my porch for sure. And we could also be seeing the arrival of a moderate south swell by late Sunday.  The storms did not quite develop as once forecasted, so no super swell, but fun none the less.  Head high and 17 second periods for Monday and dropping from there.  Nothing too exciting on its heels.  Some say this is the year of the September Souths.  Let's hope because it has been dismal otherwise.  Lucky for us the wind swell has been plentiful.

Well, Fabio decided to take his shirt off and send us a fun little bout of waves.  This morning saw regular swells breaking in the waist high to several feet overhead range.  Know where to go and get what you want.  He is not done though as moisture and energy are pushing up the California coast.  Santa Barbara will see some thunderstorm activity and Big Sur could see it this evening.  With a bit of luck, we could see some action around the Monterey Bay.  After that pushes through this area during Thursday, the high pressure will slowly begin to edge back into control of the local weather.

I won't be posting up much over the next few weeks, as I will be traveling through New England a bit to enjoy a little of their summer.  Keeping the fingers crossed that we get some good beach days.  They have some of the best beaches in the world in Southern Maine.  And good donuts as well.

Friday, July 13, 2012

It could get a little interesting.

It is not very often that we see the right condition for thunder storms here in Santa Cruz.  You know, when the weather turns warm and muggy, and the rain wants to just clear the air.  Not the misty, foggy coolness that are our summertime mornings, rather what the Easterners know as humidity.  Well, with a bit of luck, we could see a little of that sort of thing developing next week.  More on that below.

Summer surf, Maine style.  Drake's Island Beach.

The weekend looks a bit like the past few days, but with the fog hanging heavier and longer and the afternoons getting a little less warm.  I hear that mid town was hot the past few days.  It was plenty warm here on the west side of town.  Even along the water, the breeze was not so strong as to make things cold.  If you were out of the breeze, it sure felt like a fine summer day.  Over the weekend, we may see that sea breeze lighten even more, as a low pressure in the far north western Gulf of Alaska pushes up against our blocking high pressure.  This will shifts things around enough so that our local gradient can lift a bit to the north.  This might mean good things for those who want to try to surf.

More small summer surf along the Santa Cruz shores.  Still plenty of fun.

There is almost a trace of swell from the tropics.  Emilia is sending some very small, very steep swell up the coast, and with a little luck finding the right spot that can pick it up, you could be getting some chest high or bigger surf.  By Sunday, we should begin to see some middle period (10-11 sec) swell arrive from the afore mentioned low.  It could also be in the chest to head high range on the north coast.   With some luck, mornings could be fairly calm, allowing for some fun surf.  Of bigger news is the storm brewing up south of New Zealand.  This one is looking quite favorable.  If it splits up, as forecast, on Sunday, a portion of it could surge northeast, right in our swell window.  And from there it could re-intensify, but at a closer range.  This could spell for a solid summer swell starting to fill in around the 21st of July.  Of you like to surf, you may want to start laying some plans to get as much water time in as possible for a four or five day stretch.  You can stay posted here.

But what about those thunder clappers?  So, as the low pressure and high pressure interact to our north, by early next week, the low gets beat and ejected, and the high retrogrades a bit to the west.  A large scale low begins to set up along the western seaboard, and this begins to interact with the tropical systems to our south.  By then Fabio will be (or have been) a hurricane, but instead of moving east like the last two, it will be drawn north.  This will almost immediately wind this storm down, but all that moisture and energy will travel north along the California coast.  If this were to happen, as the remains drifted up the coast, warm humid air will begin to fill in and thunder clouds would form along the south facing mountains.  With a bit of luck, we could see some lightening.  Would be kind of cool.

In the meantime, more of the same.  Foggy mornings, clear afternoons.  Fog seems to linger longer into the weekend, and highs could be topping out at just 70F.  This will continue, but we could see the weather swept out by the bits and pieces of Fabio that might travel up our coast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Welcome Back to Summer.

Well, we finally just got our internet up and running after the move.  Hope you did not miss out on too much fun weather while we were gone.  It has been a fairly nice summer thus far in Santa Cruz and we do not see any big changes in the upcoming week.  It is typical summer time here on the central coast.  Foggy mornings with overnight lows around 50F.  Clearing happening anytime between 9am and 1pm, depending on where you live.  West Cliff is seeing sun just before noon right now.  Wednesday is looking like the best chance in the next few days for a clear morning, but don't place too big of a bet on it.  Still, an early clearing will pump daytime highs into the upper 70s.  As we move toward the weekend, the fog will take longer to burn off.  By Saturday, we may see a south breeze develop, keeping that fog bank pushed up against Santa Cruz through later in the day.

Fun summer waves in Santa Cruz.

In short, it has been pretty brilliant out.  The rest of the country is suffering through a pretty gnarly hear spell.  Sure, that could be a little fun if you were snacking on donuts along the beaches of Maine living life like it should be, but not so wonderful if you have an hour commute each way in DC or need to wait to mow the lawn after sunset when temps have finally dropped below 90F.  Hell, with this fog, we barely even need to worry about mowing the lawn at all, because it fails to grow.  And it is looking like the best tomato summer we have had in several summers.  Fingers crossed for no long grey spell that is a harbinger for the funk.  Ironic that this is the first year in memory that I did not get any in the ground.

If you really want it to feel like summer, get yourself down to a beach.  The south swell that we had over the weekend is pretty much all gone at this point.  But if you park yourself on an eastside beach, and just want to kick back and relax, then late morning and early afternoon is where it is at.  26th Ave was looking warm and sunny when I drove by this afternoon.  If natural beauty is more your thing, get up north of town and head out to 4 Mile for a stroll.  Whatever, it is summer.

In short, more of the same.  Chance of a sunny morning early tomorrow.  Warm, in the upper 70s.  Cooler later in the week, with a bit more fog.  Chance of more fog for the weekend and a low 70s or maybe only hitting the upper 60s.  More to come soon.