Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stay In the Sun, and Out of the Breeze.

Gonna be another toasty mid winter day tomorrow.  Just stay in the warm spots.  A good example would be Neary Lagoon, where things have been quite pleasant.  Up on West Cliff Drive, it was 60F at just before noon today.  That cold ocean, and cool breeze keep it from warming to much.  Yesterday, we clocked 72F in our driveway at around 2PM.  Granted, it is a breeze protected zone and paved, as well as tucked up against the hill with good southerly exposure.  Lucky me I guess.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, as seen from a top on of the Sisters.  Should be fun come Saturday.

Friday will be the best day, and Saturday should stay nice and warm.  A storm approaching just to our north will cool things back down to the low 60s for Sunday and the first half of next week.  Confidence high for rain starting as early as Tuesday night, but more likely into Wednesday.  We should see more rain on Thursday.  Past that, it could go ether way.  I will update at least once over the weekend, as we se a return to more wet weather.  Enjoy the next few days.  This is what it is all about.

And just as a final note tonight, keep you eye out for an arriving swell late Friday into Saturday morning.  Another very long period, sizable swell is scheduled to approach the coast.  This one will have a fairly long wait in between sets, so it would be easy to miss seeing them come and get swept off the beach or headland.  The NWS has a "sneaker wave warning" issued.  Funny name, but a good one.  Keep an eye on the Pacific, and stay clear of those waves.  Or paddle out and surf them.  It could be sizable on the open coast by Saturday morning.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gem Days: Thursday thru Saturday.

Not that today is wretched.  In fact, it is quite nice out there.  I bet it is over 70 in the Costco parking lot right now.  In nicer parts of town, mid to upper 60s for today and tomorrow.  By late this work week most areas of town will be reaching up into the 70s.  Find the more sun exposed, wind protected zones for a good warm up.  As you get down and along the coast, it will cool off.  Still mid 60s on the beach to close out February is not half bad.  The fine fine weather will extend through Saturday.  As a storm again tries to approach (well) to our north, a bit of cooling will occur.  Essentially, though, it will be warm through the beginning of next week, with a bit of cooling each day.  Back down to 60F by mid next week.  And a chance of of storm, as well.

Mid winter view along West Cliff Drive.  

Nothing is certain, by any means, at this point, but we could sure use a little precipitation.  The reservoirs around the state are looking good right now, but they will be expecting some snow pack melt come spring and summer.  Right now the Sierra snowpack is looking a bit thin.  More rain, means more snow.  We need a good March to get back on track.  But then again, March typically is a good wet month.  But, then again, it has not been a typical year.  Cold, and wet from mid October to the New Year.  Cold and dry, then warm and dry, then just basically dry for nearly two months.  So, time will tell.  Still, keep in mind that by the later half of the next work week, we could be seeing a period of storms.  And it is silly right now to talk about much beyond that.  Just don't right off winter wet.

Big swell arrives today.  Buoys are running in the 12 feet at 19 seconds range.  West Cliff is getting some.  Winds are pretty light.  You should go get some.  Or head up the coast to watch the big ones at Mavs this afternoon.  Swell should stick around for the next few days, with light offshores in the mornings.  A decent week for sure.  Afternoon winds will be moderate from the NW.  But, that is just the surf.  The weather is what is really going off.  Bottom line:  Get out and enjoy the weather and don't miss out on Thursday through Saturday.  It is going to be stellar.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Remember that Sesame Street Song?

Sunny days.  They are here.  So that is good.  This week looks like it will see mostly fair weather and warming temperatures with another Friday looking to get up and above 70F.  But that chill in the air will take a little time to wear off.  And mornings to remain quite crisp.  Basically, we have a ridge sitting just off our coast, and up on us enough, to drive incoming storms into the PNW.  In fact, points north of here are getting pretty hammered the first half of this week.  And that is what is going to keep us on the chilly side of 70.  Expect mid 30s over night and low 60s through the first half of the week.

Seagull cruising along West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.

By Wednesday, the ridge shifts more squarely upon us, and the storm track shifts up well into Canada.  The good news for us, is that warming will begin.  Mid to upper 60s on Thursday and hopes of 70F plus on Friday.  The weekend should be a bit cooler than Friday.  All in all, some excellent weather on tap.  It is still winter, so don't let up your guard.  The rainy season around here can extend well into May.  Right now, there is some talk of a return to wetter weather by week two of March.  All talk.  And we have been seeing a bit of that in the forecasts for some time, but the storm door has yet to materialize.  For now, a sunny, warming week ahead.

If you did not get up to the snow this past week, you should know that conditions are excellent, and are much improved since the dry period.  Wintery conditions should transition to more spring like conditions as we move through the week and into next weekend.  Coverage is good, but we could use more.  In fact, snow pack is right about average, and if we are to get a decent water year, we need that to build up some.  In the meantime, while we have good weather, take advantage of the surf, which is pumping.  This past weekend's swell will drop down to head high for Monday.  More solid long period swell arrives Tuesday, and more is behind that.  Needless to say, it is pretty fun out there, especially in town where you can get out of the wind.  Or just get up early and enjoy the offshores.  Finally, I can't tell you much about the biking right now, as I can't find anyone who is not surfing or skiing in their free time.  Go figure.  It is winter.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sun Returns and Storms Stay North.

Or at least they might.  Yesterday's storm is gone, and today breaks bluebird in the Sierra after a good eight inches fell along the crest.  Less than expected.  And the hope of the resorts for a return to winter just does not seem to be in the cards.  The next few storms will barely brush our region, perhaps leaving us high and dry.  But don't put away that slicker just yet.  One of these systems could decide to roll up on us and throw us a punch.  And they all still try to deliver that cold air.

Vines and rock wall in the Pogonip, Santa Cruz.

Slight warming through the week, with an expected high of 60F by Friday.  The storm that will brush us to our north Friday night looks to drop the high on Saturday back into the 50s.  Sunday gets a rebound and we are looking at low 60s next week.  Over night lows continue in the 30s.  Keep an eye out tonight night for frost and freeze, especially for any of you not living directly on the coastal bench.  Any low lying areas at elevation above 500 feet are going to be susceptible to some cold over night.  As for the mid and long term, there is still some talk of a storm next week, and a return to a rainy period in mid March, but seriously, those guys are just hopeful skiers looking for anything to warm their hearts.  Not really worth thinking about.  For now, we should stay dry, but any little shifts in the track and we will be back in showersville.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold Rain and Pounding Surf.

Hey folks, just as a friendly reminder, Ma Nature has sent us a nice dose of winter.  Tuesday morning woke to cold air and a grey sky as the light pitter patter tapped on the roof.  Just up the road a bit, snow was falling with freezing levels down below 3000 feet.  This is going to be one cold storm.  Nothing record breaking, but after the mid 70s of last Friday, it feels positively Arctic.  And with good reason.  It is.  With the high pressure sitting out in the Pacific, storms are heading north as they cross the dateline and then plummeting south along the other side of the bubble, right into the California coast.  And it is not just us who are going to feel the chill.  SoCal is going to get cold, and those folks just are used to anything but Baywatch weather.

Looking across the valley from the Pogonip.  While this is from December, clouds rolled in yesterday.

Anyway, after today there will be some moderation.  But before we move into that, just a mention for the long period swell hitting our coast today.  There will be some large surf out there.  Not much for riding as the local winds will be creating a nice Victory at Sea effect.  But if you enjoy a big splash, it could be worth a viewing.  Just don't turn your back on that ocean and stick to high ground.  With all the mess of storm in the water, it will be harder to see the big swells coming, and you could get taken by surprise.  A 20 second swell packs a lot of energy.

If you are thinking about the fresh snow, it is going to take a bit of time to get it in shape.  Right now we have a few inches on top of firm crust.  By later today we could be looking at a foot of fresh.  So, things could be decent by Wednesday, and with more small storms on the way, the weekend looks promising.  As for our weather, we should enjoy a break tomorrow, and maybe just a bit of sun.  Continued cold.  We still have light, short, weak storms crossing us on Thursday, Friday and into the weekend.  Expect showery weather.  And watch for ice on the local mountain roads.  Each of these systems pack some cold air, so it will be chilly for a bit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Cold Rain is Gonna Fall.

The awesomeness that can be Santa Cruz in winter that we have seen over the past few days has come to an end.  Yesterday, we clocked 72F in the driveway on the west side of town.  Down along the water it was chillier, but once you got even a 100 yards inland, it was quite toasty for mid winter.  You have to love weather like that.  That will break with morning fog, and then clear skies by mid morning. But it will be cooler, struggling to reach into the mid 60s.  Monday we will be in the high 50s, and by late in the day, clouds will begin to fill in as we see a return of a wetter pattern.  And much colder.

Snow levels will drop to 2000 feet on Tuesday as our first storm in a series moves in.  This thing is not a super drencher, but we should expect pretty consistent light showers through the day and into the evening.  Highs will be in the low 50s.  Talk about a drop since yesterday.  Wednesday we should see a break in the rain, but not in the cold.  That chill will continue through at least the following weekend. Chances of showers on Thursday and Friday of this coming week.  Long term we are looking at continues chances for wet weather.  I should note, we are not seeing a train of storms lining up.  And none of the one's forecasted for the short or mid term are significantly wet or strong.  Still, it is a pattern change.  And it will get cold.  Protect your plants from frost and freeze, especially on nights where the sky is clear.  Looks like we are moving from surfing weather on into skiing weather.  Go get some.  Next weekend could be soft and squeaky.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sunshiny Days.

I mean, this kind of weather is what dreams are made of.  Mid February and mid 60s.  And it is only getting better.  It felt positively warm out there, in the sun, at 9AM this morning.  It was even better at noon.  The next few days look to get even more heated.  I would not be surprised if we saw some 70s posting up tomorrow through Friday.  Temps start to dip down for the weekend, but not drastically.  Another spectacular weekend should be on tap.  By Sunday, the first in a series of approaching storm will move inland over the PNW and drop south of the Rockies.  We should stay dry, and fairly warm.  Next down stream system should begin to approach on Tuesday.  Models today suggest cooling and light rain by mid next week.  Nothing is yet set in stone, but you may want to start planning for a return to a wet period.  After such a long stretch of mostly dry and fair weather, a stormy March could take one by surprise.  Don't be that one.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Beautiful Crisp Weather. Warming To Come.

Okay, so it is a bit cold outside.  Not bitter.  Not a wicked blizzard.  Sure is better than that which New England is getting served up.  Today we will get up to just about 60 degrees here in town.  A bit of north west wind in the mix.  Sunday is going to start out pretty much just as cold as this morning, in the low 30s, but I would not be surprised if we get up into the mid 60s.  And with a light morning off shore  breeze, and the past few days of cold, it is going to be right toasty.  And it is only going to get better through the middle of next week.  May be a chance we get way up to 70F, before we start to cool back down.  Very good chances for brilliant weather on Monday, with a pretty pumping 6@17 swell (that shows up Sunday), and an easterly breeze.  Go wax up your stick, bra.

The Wall, Kirkwood, California.  Thanksgiving Day, 2011.  I need to download some recent pics from my camera.

Actually, tomorrow looks pretty fun in the water as well.  Light wind regime pretty much through mid week.  Currently looks like the warmest days will be toward the end of the week and into next weekend.  That to be true if the high pressure that is filling in right now gets a chance to settle up on us, and warm up.  MJO is on the move again, and some models have cool, shower weather moving in as early as next Saturday, the 16th.  Others hold off until the following Wednesday.  And this is all quite speculative at this point.  Will watch, as we could see the signal of the pattern change.  I said it was going to get wet.  Just a matter of time.  And a matter of how pervasive.  Right now, we see only weak, showery systems coming through our region.  Still no storm train, let alone real storms, are in the charts.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Summer or Winter?

Earlier this week it sure felt like summer.  Cold and foggy.  Not looking forward to June, I am enjoying the switch today, back to winter.  Winter looks to continue and fill back in.  Today we saw the first wave come through late in the morning, with thick clouds and very light drizzle.  Clearer this afternoon,  expect clouds and more rain to fill in this evening.  A solid band of moisture has passed over the central valley north of Sacramento.  Snow is falling in the Sierra.  More will arrive, perhaps for our evening commute.  Rain and showers over night.  Just a small amount.  A tenth to a quarter inch.  A half foot in the mountains.  Some spot, with the help of the wind, might get a foot.  Showers for the morning commute, and then clearing.  The biggest thing will be the frigid cold.  You might be feeling it already.  Yup, winter time is here.

Kirkwood Cross Country ski trails.  If the slopes get too icy, you can always go out for a glide.

By Friday afternoon it will be nippy and clear.  Friday night should be a cold one.  Protect your plants, especially if you live in a elevated valley.  Expect a frosty Saturday morning.  Light winds off the land to start the day.  Sunday is to be a chilly one as well.  Highs in the upper 50s.  Lows just about freezing.  A little warming starting Monday.  Lows stay in the 30s, with highs reaching for mid 60 by Thursday.  Long term is still up in the air.  Models are a bit all over the place, but cold weather expected to return after a brief warm up.  Then showers, and maybe a storm train to finish the month.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Don't call it a come back.

Will winter return?  For a few days perhaps, but no long term wet period in the near term forecast.  The new week will start off a bit cooler than the stellar weekend we had on tap.  Some high clouds kept things grey in the Sierra this past Saturday, but temps were warm for sure.  Superbowl Sunday was pretty impressive and new swell filled into Santa Cruz.  Waves continue for the coming week, but wetter and cooler weather is expected by Thursday.  Monday looks like we will again see low to mid 60s along the coast paired with brilliant sunshine.  Tuesday, a bit cooler.  Wednesday, a bit cooler than that.  And by evening clouds will begin to fill in along the coast.

Butterfly season will soon come to an end.

Rain is the name of the game on Thursday.  Not heavy rain, but rain none the less.  And chilly with a high of about 55F at sea level.  Snow levels will drop down below 4000 feet.  Not a whole lot of snow, just a few inches at lake level.  About 10 inches up along the crest.  Isolated locations may receive a foot.  Rain and snow to continue through Friday.  Light, drizzle like weather for us in Santa Cruz.  And did I say chilly?  By Saturday, we should see clearing and a little bit of warming.  High 50s in town, and perhaps 60F by Sunday.  Nothing too warm though.  As of right now, the following week looks clear and mild.