Thursday, June 27, 2013

Freshly Showered, and ready for the Warmth.

You can pretty much depend on it being crowded here in town this coming weekend.  Any where but the coast will be pretty darn hot by Saturday.  It looks near perfect here in town.  Actually, today is pretty damn nice, especially if you duck out of the wind, which in not too hard with a northerly flow just gracing the tip of the bay.  The flag at my house is barely moving, but white caps are visible in the outer bay.  Mid 80s right now and it might even top out a little warmer than that.  So warm in fact that I am avoiding heading down to Costco right now where I figure the parking lot is baking at 90F.  Should cool off this evening, as it looks like the marine layer will ease in late.  Winds might even shut off over night.  Get on it early to hit the best of the swell and beat the drained out low tide just before 9AM.  Fog should clear out and the wind be on the surf by noon tomorrow.  Might be a bit cooler tomorrow with a high of just about 80F.  Then things get out of and just a bit east of us.

Low tide, down by the Hook, Santa Cruz.

Saturday looks like a clear day from sun up until sun down.  No fog, no clouds.  Just summertime heat. At least in land.  Gonna get into the 90s in LG and across San Jose.  If that is not hot enough, try heading down to Pinnacles this weekend.  With a little luck you could be seeing 100F daytime highs.  Who wants to go hike a rock?  Still not warm enough?  Oakdale is looking at a forecast of 105F for Monday.  Here in town it should be a nice, cool 82F or so and a little cooler right at the waters edge.  Looks like some good beach days are on tap with a morning low tide around 9:30AM over the weekend.  And the winds look light to boot.  Yup, this high pressure is getting so settled up on us, the afternoon breezes will just be up around 10 knots or so.  Enough to bungle the exposed surf, but not enough to break into town.  Whether you are looking to be on a board or building sand castles, it don';t get much better than this.  Maybe we will see you at the Hook poking around the tide pools.

Warm trend continues for us through early next week with daytime highs dropping back into the mid 70s for Wednesday.  Inland can expect a little reprieve by mid week, but even San Jose will still be in the upper 80s.  We could see a little bit of marine layer returning by then, but really just for brief morning visits, as the warm weather looks to continue through the start of July.  Over all, June has been a pretty wonderful month so far, despite an off season rain storm.  Luck us as we headed south into Big Sur for a little camping were able to stay dry.  While home was cool and wet, we were warm and dry and looking out across a absolutely stunning expanse.  If you've never been, you really must go.

In short, some excellent weather on tap for Santa Cruz.  A chance for a little morning fog on Friday.  Some afternoon wind on the north coast.  Low to mid 80s through Tuesday.  A little cooler after that, but still warm.  Stay tuned, and go get some of that swell that is in the water.  It is pumping out there for mid summer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yup, it is Wet.

A little shower yesterday afternoon had me thinking more along the lines of rain. Well, it ha been raining in SC all morning. I'm posting from the road in Monterey an down here the ceiling is higher and it is a whole bunch drier. Instead of white fog, there are dark grey ridge top clouds. This thing continues to creep south though. I'm still hopeful that my campsite is dry. Maybe this was the right timing to head south. Rain likely to continue in Santa Cruz through tomorrow mid day. Then we start to see clearing. Still looking at sunny and warm spell later this week. An the surf looks real fun for the second half of the work week. I course we can expect some strong NW winds by then to muck it up a bit. And go out and enjoy the novelty of summer rain. Stop being such a sour puss. At least it is warm.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Really, Rain? And the Chances are...

Okay, the curious weather is just getting a bit more curious.  At least this morning there were more patches of fog along the coast, but the west side of town sure had plenty of sun early this morning.  We were lucky enough to not see the sun rise over the Santa Cruz mountains.  Not that there was any fog blocking our view, just that the little guy actually slept in until 6:30.  Gotta get up pretty early this time of year.  So with no real June Gloom setting in, the powers of grey are taking another stab at it and sending us a winter like storm.  And these type of clouds like to drop some rain.  This system has been fueled by the tropics and is packing a bunch of moisture.  The Sierra Nevada will see upwards of two inches of rain.  If it were cold out, that would be two feet of snow, as in a big winter dump.  The bullseye is up near the border, in the State of Jefferson, where two and half inches are expected.  Let's look at the details for down in our area.

One of the great thing about the local beaches is all the wildlife one gets to enjoy.  

The rest of today looks pretty nice and should top out in the upper 70s, with just a moderate wind out on the water.  Should be real nice if you are tucked up in the northern end of the bay.  Overnight tonight the fog bank will get a little more push on its way in and should be well settled tomorrow morning.  The day should see some clearing, but high clouds will be developing near headlands and the local mountain peaks.  There could be a little rain squeezed out from these, but not really expecting much in the way of wide spread rain.  Chances for rain increase drastically as you head north and Pt. Arena should be seeing rain by evening time.  High of about 70F here in Santa Cruz.  Clouds continue to fill in and by Monday morning the sky should be pretty grey.  Increasing chances of rain during the day as the rain system moves over the northern end of the state.  I would not quite call it likely, but a good chance we will get rained on here in town sometime during the day Monday.  And it might just be a touch cooler, but really more from the cloud cover and not because of a cold core to the storm.

Perhaps some good news, other than the fact that we need the water anyway, is that this storm will not have a bunch of cold air or strong winds.  In fact, the winds will be a lot lighter than they have been recently.  The peak of this system will arrive around Monday night and we see a good chance for rain.  This storm is looking to track further south compared to my last posting.  Chance for rain continues through Tuesday, but falling off sharply after sunrise as the system begins to move north and east.  We could be spared as this storm is just barely coming across our zone.  About two inches of rain for Pt Arena, and inch for Pt Reyes, a half inch in Marin, a quarter inch in SF, a tenth of an inch here in Santa Cruz and less than that south of Monterey.  If you are going camping with me in Big Sur, I really think we should be spared, but pack a slicker, just incase.

Things should really clear out for Wednesday, and the rest of the week is looking pretty nice with a return to sunshine and upper 70s.  No real June Gloom in site.  You just will need to be ready for some sooner or later.  Hopefully the last three weeks in July when we will be in New England enjoying some humidity.  Oh, and there is some moderate swell on the way with a south starting to show Tuesday and possibly a northwest arriving on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Rain for the Sunshine State

Its June, right?  Several outlets have been chatting about how curious the weather has been of late.  While not like super weird, it has been a tad bit peculiar.  For instance, the fact that the fog never materialized early this week in Santa Cruz with light morning onshore flow.   In fact, most of the bay was clear by 9AM on Monday and stayed that way through most of the week.  Rumor has it that some spots near Half Moon Bay had fog.  Figures.  Anyway, the forecast.  With the weekend approaching I figure an update was in order.  In short, it looks pretty good for the next few days.  The ocean breeze should back off a bit tonight, inviting fog back in for the morning.  With a little luck, I'll be wrong on this, but I think the sunshiny mornings will be put on hold.  Low 50s overnight.  Warming up into the mid and upper 70s, but it sure feels warm if you are out of the wind.  And chances are you can avoid it through the weekend, with less of the strong north west filling into town.  It is still gonna howl in the afternoons on the open ocean.  White cap city.  More of the same on Saturday.  And a big change for Sunday.

Low tide on the inside reef, at the Hook in Santa Cruz, California

Chance for rain.  Well, for us, it is mostly just fun to say.  NOAA is posting up a 20% chance right now, but I think they are just trying to keep people ready.  Marin has a greater chance, and if you are chilling in Pt Arena, you can pretty much expect some rain by Sunday night into Monday.  Back down here in Santa Cruz we can expect that the fogs and clouds will conspire to give a fair amount of grey.  Some sun may come out.  This storm is not packing a whole bunch of cold, but it will be a bit cooler than today.  Something that would be noticeable to some is the winds are likely to shift from the south, and with luck, it will be light.  Monday looks pretty foggy overall, with a south flow in place.  We could be stuck in the mid to upper 60s.  Similar on Tuesday with the fog clearing a bit earlier.  Strong northwest flow returns mid week, with less fog and warmer temperatures like today.  Or even warmer.  

Anyway, the big thing is it could rain on you this coming Sunday night into Monday.  Roads will be slippery.  Check your yards and make sure you did not leave your Walkman out on the deck.  Think about where your rain coat is.  Chance increase significantly as you head north, but anyone north of Big Sur should at least keep an eye on the sky.  And it looks like we could get a more significant SW by Wednesday and some mid period NW on Thursday.  Until then, small S groundswell and small NW wind swell.  Make due and have fun.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More of the Same with a Slightly Improving Forecast for the End of the Work Week.

Typical for this time of year, but on the good side of typical.  When folks talk about the June Gloom, they tend to be thinking about days, or weeks, on end with out a glimpse of the sun along the coast.  But I tend to think of that as mid summer weather, like in July or August.  What is going on right now seems typical to me.  A little of fog in the morning, but with a strong north west wind gradient, things clear out pretty quickly.  It was sunny at the east side beaches around 9:30 this morning.  Just in time for us to have a great day. Hell, it was sunny at our west side home at sunrise.  Can't beat that.  Mid day was already 75F in some locations.  That is about as warm as we can expect it to get.  More of the same on tap for tomorrow and Wednesday.

How many creatures can you name in this photo.  Diversity in a rock in coastal Santa Cruz.

It is looking like the winds will be blowing extra early by Thursday getting most of town into the sunshine at sunrise party.  That will allow things to warm up a bit more.  Those wind protected spots in town should break into the 80s, with Friday being the warmest.  out on the beaches, look for being on the plus side of 70F, again with the warmest day expected Friday.  The mostly sunny conditions continue through the weekend and into next week.  Of course, all that can change pretty quickly, with slight changes in our local high pressure.  Which might just happen.

Some extra tropical energy is expected to move north and east from Japan, organizing into a small storm near the dateline mid week.  Not really much to effect us from there.  But by next weekend, the remnants of that quick system could reorganize in the Gulf of Alaska and push south and east.  That could mean a late season rain, and possibly snow, storm for the PNW.  And that could change our weather for the better.  It is possible for us to get some warm, light wind, sunny weather for early next week.  But don't go counting on that just yet.  This scenario is not common for June.  And don't go expecting the resulting swell just yet either.  For now we just have some minimal south swells and very minimal north wind swells.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Welcome to June in Santa Cruz

A little grey out there, is it?  That is just summer.  Start to love it, cause it is going to stick around.  That heat the interior had over the weekend?  Well, that really gets the fog machine chugging.  And chugging it is.  Full grey out there this morning.  Things are starting to break apart just a bit at 1:30 in the afternoon.  More of the same tomorrow.  KInd of.  And the day after that, and the day after that.  But let's look at a bit more detail.  Southerly flow continues today and what sun does peak through will me minimal as there is not a whole bunch of wind to blow out the fog.  Upper 60s, with perhaps a few good spots in town getting up to about 70F.  Fog returns late this afternoon and will hang thick by Tuesday morning.

Large south swells hitting the Santa Cruz coastline.  

The high pressure will start moving back over our region, with the gradient setting up through the week.  So, pretty much we are looking at foggy mornings with sun breaking out around noon time.  Could be a bit earlier on some days.  Like Tuesday.  A bit later on others.  Morning lows down around 52F and the afternoon high up around 72F.  Not really a whole lot going on weather wise through the week.  I'll let you know if anything changes.  A little shift in the local high pressure can bring us heat or fog, depending on which way it goes.  For now, we look like we are back in between.  Keep in mind that means afternoon north west breezes.  They don't look super strong, but the exposed beaches will be up stronger than 15 knots at times.  Maybe stronger around the points.

If we are talking coastal, why not talk surf?  Such a solid swell this past weekend.  Hope you got some, as thing take a turn down.  Today could still be fun with chest high waves at select spots.  After that it looks like small south swell and small wind swell are up for tap.  Hey, it is something.  It could actually be flat.  But it may be time to start getting the bike legs back in shape.  Hell, the surf has been so good, I've only been on the bike one day in 2013.

Fog in the mornings.  Warm, sunny and breezy afternoons.  Until we see some weather.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sunshine Cancelled. Chilly, Foggy Weekend Expected.

Sorry folks.  I reverse nailed it for the weekend.  Looks like the fog is going to stick around and keep the chill on the coast.  While Stockton suffers with triple digit heat, coastal folks will be wearing beanies and hoodies to stave off the cold.  Only going to be in the mid 60s for Saturday along the waters edge.  And that south swell was pumping today.  More tomorrow, with the northwest still on track.  Sun will poke out in the afternoon, but yeah, foggy mostly.  Sunday will be a bit warmer, but will likely have even less sun.  Must be June.  Maybe sun by Tuesday, and a warm up for later in the week.  Don't hold your breath.  Go surf.  And say a pray for your tomatoes.

Sea anemone, sand and water at the Hook, Santa Cruz.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Long Period Powerful South Swells Hit Santa Cruz as the Inland Empire Feels the First Real Heat Wave of the Season.

I mean, that is some serious headline.  Expect loads of traffic here in town this weekend as surfers from around the region descend on the surf breaks while at the same time hordes of folks from around the region escape the heat at area beaches.  The warm up, and the waves, start today.  As for the weather here in town, it is not so hot.  Fog pulled out today around noon, and the sea breeze kicked up.  Kind of a strange morning.  Fog was high early, with a clear view across the bay at Monterey, around 5AM.  By 7AM, it settled low on the water, only to slowly lift out just before noon.  Was kind of beautiful, actually.  Gonna pretty much stay in the upper 60s today, with select spots getting up into the early 70s.      Moderate winds developing around the top of the bay, with light west winds up the coast, perhaps building later.  Not really expecting strong winds, and the main pressure gradient is north of here.

Of course if you don't like the beach, you can always chill of from the valley heat at Roaring Camp Railroad.

Kind of looks like more of the same tomorrow, with perhaps fog pulling out a bit earlier, and the air a bit warmer.  Looks like it could be sort of nice out with a high in the mid 70s downtown and low 70s at the beach.  Saturday we see the peak of this inland heat wave and our warmest day in the mid 70s.  Looks real nice on the charts with light south flow, warm days and south swell.  It is gonna be a great weekend.  Sunday is a touch cooler, and fog returns over night.  South flow continues but with a marine layer instead of sun.  Temps hang out just about 70F, with overnight lows in the low 50s.  Water should stay warm as well, until the north west winds return.

So, a little more about the surf.  Very long period south swell filled in this morning.  It is running about 2.5 feet at 20 seconds. That surf has some serious push.  While not very tall surf, it will be quite powerful, with a lot of push up the beach.  Breaking waves are running about chest high to a touch overhead.  It will build from there.  With these long periods, area beaches will have large, powerful, closed out shore pound.  Not very friendly stuff, especially for the little ones.  This is the thing under tows are made from.  If you are headed out for a surf, find points and deep water reefs that can better focus the swell energy into surf able waves.  Swell heights should peak mid day Friday and slowly taper over the weekend.  A north west mid period swell will begin showing on Saturday, keeping wave heights a bit over head through the weekend.  The real good news is that the mornings start off with a near zero low tide, filling into a 4 foot high tide mid day, and just slowly dropping from there.  There will be a bit of a tide push in the late evening, but the peak will be well after night fall.  So in other words, good tides pretty much all day.  And that south flow does not hurt any, offering up more clean surf breaks to choose from.  Have fun out there, and try to be a decent human being while in the water.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spot On. The Greydom is Here, but a Chance for Sun Lingers.

It cleared out late yesterday.  Like completely.  It was very nice up the coast around 5PM yesterday.  And that ocean water has certainly warmed up with that south flow.  So, that was nice.  Upper 60s this afternoon.  Some clearing began around 2PM, but it is slow going, and there is barely a patch of blue over the west side and downtown as of now.  Might not see a full burn off today, but we do still have a load of sunlight left.  It is early June after all.  Pretty much the same for tomorrow, but with a slight bit more warmth.  Let's say 70F.  Then things really start to change, and you will feel lucky that you live here on the coast and not in the Central Valley.  In case you are not already.

The Hook has been the place to chill recently.  Blocked from the wind and fun wave to watch.

Warming trend to peak on Saturday, again.  We are not going to get quite as warm as last weekend here in Santa Cruz, but inland they should see the hottest daytimes highs thus far this season.  Could top over 110F in Tracy, and get on the plus side of 100F in Concord.  90s in Saratoga and upper 80s in SJ. Mid to upper 70s right here on the coast with much warmer temps as you start to move up the hill.  But, first, let's look at the rest of the work week.  Things start to warm up on Thursday, but another foggy day keep the heat away from us.  Light winds continue from the south, with slight clearing late.  New super long period south swell fills in, so pay attention to the ocean if you are down along the water's edge.  Occasional moderate swells will sweep well up the beaches, and up over rocks and low lying bluffs.  Clearing as early as late morning.  Winds stay light and

More of the same on Friday.  Right now it looks like when the fog pulls out Friday, it may just stay out for the weekend.  I know a few folks who enjoy the sunshine.  Mid to upper 70s along the coast and into the 80s in town.  Light winds continue.  A bit of a cool down for Sunday, but again, looks like continues sunshine.  Winds begin to shift to a more westerly flow in the afternoon with a little sea breeze.  Marine layer returning to start the next work week.  And the long term models suggest another week of grey.  But I am not even counting on this weekend's forecast yet.  Still, I am starting to lay some plans just in case it is right.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Gloom?

I'm sure you have heard the term.  I imagine you've heard May Grey thrown around a bit, but we made it through last month with very little fog.  A few days ago the forecast was for a marine layer to move in tomorrow and stick around for a week or more.  Well, it started to show this morning but quickly burned off.  The long and the short of it is that we are looking at least a few days of fog coming up.  Depending how you view things, this could be a good or poor forecast, but regardless, here it is.  As the high pressure gradient shifts to our north tonight, the moderate north west winds will subside and a foggy marine layer will move over us for Monday.  It will be chilly.  Highs tomorrow will mid to upper 60s.  We will be lucky to see much of a burn off, and likely the immediate coast will have a grey sky the entire day.  Not exactly beach weather.  Tuesday looks like more of the same, although, there is a slightly better chance for some afternoon sun.  But I would not count on it.  Things change a bit on hump day.

My son and I were just loving watching these crabs hiding in a crevice, patiently awaiting high tide.

Wednesday will be a touch warmer, heating up into to the low 70s, thanks to some light NW winds blowing out the fog by late morning.  Or, at least that is how things look right now.  Decent chance of sunny mornings for the rest of the work week.  Combine that with a chance for light winds and we could be back up into the mid 70s and some decent beach weather for Friday and the coming weekend.    But the big news around town is the arrival of a super long period southern hemi swell that should first roll into town Wednesday afternoon.  We are talking 25 second period swells.  These guys will sneak up on you, so pay attention if you are playing near the waters edge.  While not big by winter standards, we could see some double overhead surf later this week.  And the lulls in between could be long and will be small.  Stay tuned here for you fog and surf updates.