Saturday, September 28, 2013

I see the Marine Layer Developing. Rain Just to our North.

What an interesting September it has been.  Our first rain fall.  The start of the north west swell season.  A few hot ones.  And it is finishing our just as fun.  A look at the infrared satellite and it is easy to see the marine layer developing not too far offshore, and it is along the coast north of Cape Mendocino.  Oddly enough, that is also basically where the bulk of the storm will hit.  And points north.  South of there, there will be some rain, but not nearly as much.  More on that below.  As for Sunday, that marine layer should come close to shore, if not onshore, over night.  Expect at least a partially grey morning on the coast.  If you live up one of the many local hills, you might be above it.  That can often look pretty cool at sunrise.  Expect an early burn off pretty much every where, as light north winds keep things relatively clear.  Those winds will shift more westerly, and increase to a moderate speed in the afternoon.  It is going to be a bit cooler than today, which is baking quite pleasantly right now.  High of 70.  Monday will be similar, although NOAA is calling for a slight chance of rain.  I think they are being cautious, because of last week's rain.  I thought about being cautious, but I'm not going to bother.  Not likely to rain, if it does it will be just real light stuff.  If I see a change in that tomorrow, I will post up.

Finally.  A local, and recent picture.  Just north of town, in a wind protected cove.  Been some really nice beach days.

Still looking at 80F by Friday.  The warm up starts on Wednesday.  Quite possibly October it lining up to look typical.  Which would mean warm sunny days, chilly clear nights and very little wind.  We can only hope for such boring weather.

7:25 PM:  That fog bank looks like it has dissipated as the low pressure system sank further south this evening.  So now I am thinking we might be spared that grey, although, when I peaked at the NWS forecast just now, they are calling for a foggy morning.  We will see, but don't be upset if the morning has plenty of sunshine.

Friday, September 27, 2013

PNW to get Slammed!!

Not quite as warm as I hoped today.  Still quite nice, but that sun ever so much lower in the sky, the mid day heat never quite fully developed.  NOAA is calling for upper 70s for Saturday, and low 70s for Sunday.  Still no real sign of a marine layer developing, nor a strong off shore flow.  Light at best.  So much for an autumn heat up.  Still nice though.  Nothing like the almost nine inches of rain that parts of Washington are expecting over the next five days.  Seven inches predicted at the CA/OR border.  Marin might see a touch of rain to start off next week, but it looks like from SF south it will stay dry, and mostly sunny.

Morning surfers getting to the goods near Capitola, California.

This crazy big storm is also going to send us some waves.  After a small to moderate weekend, and decent sized swell should hit the coast late on Monday.  Longer period and decent sized waves will be something to enjoy and use a little caution around.  These are by no means the big swells of winter, but more sizable none the less.  Might be a bit bigger than this past Tuesday.  With the storm to our north, we see a little cooling on Monday.  Down to around 72F.  Tuesday will try to warm up, but it is getting harder with each passing day.  High pressure will begin to fill in mid week, bringing up some afternoon breezes.  The week will slowly warm, maybe again trying to 80F before the weekend.  We will see.

Long term continues to look interesting.  With a little luck we will see the storm path shift north and pump in some epic weather.  But the NPAC does not look like it is going to quite shut down completely, as more big storms are modeled an week plus out.  Check back here for more updates.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brrr, right. No worries. Warm up is on the way.

It sure felt chilly today.  And especially this evening.  That cool, crisp autumn air can have a bite, especially when we get these early season storms driving so far south.  More rain for the PNW today, as we enjoyed a breezy, crisp and clear day.  Not the best of show, but it was not foggy.  This start to make a turn for the better tomorrow.  I'm not calling it a beach day for Thursday, but it will be quite pleasant.  Northerly winds miss town, and allow for a moderate warm up as we bounce back into the lower 70s.  Friday, the interior begins to heat up, and dry out, as north east flow pours over the region.  We could see 80F in the warmer parts of town.  And the weekend does not look to shabby either.


Friday should be the peak of it.  Saturday will be a touch cooler and Sunday a touch cooler than that, dipping down into the mid to upper 70s.  There is a slight chance of morning fog, and if that were to happen, some light afternoon northwest winds.  Nothing like the past few days though.  We could even see another warm up to start off the next week before another cool short waves drops down again next Wednesday.  Currently, no rain in the forecast.  Seriously though, Friday looks stellar.  Hit up the beach.  Or do it on the weekend.  No real heat to escape though, as this is the time of year when we start to see the coastal temps matching those inland.

Swell fades through the week, but look for some fun waves at OB when those off shores hit.  A little pulse of mid period swell should kick in for the weekend, but the next big round of waves should show late next Monday.  Been a great start to the season.  A little snow up in the Sierra.  Fingers crossed for some good stuff to come.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Big surf, big wind, big improvement to the weather.

As the first solid swell of the fall session crashes into the coast today, a healthy does of north west wind, bringing cooler air, fills in through town.  It is warm today in the mid 70s.  But out on West Cliff, it feels a bit chilly with that breeze.  And Wednesday will feel even cooler.  Expect plenty of sunshine, but a high topping out at only 70F.  And those winds will be brisk throughout the day, again peaking in the later afternoon.  By Thursday, we begin to see a warm up again, and the strongest winds back off.  But the real gems are coming late in the work week, as we move back up into the upper 70s and even low 80s here in town.  And an off shore event is in the works.  That is when we see a light flow off the land.  Some times it can become strong, but it is a warm breeze.  Down south they call it the Santa Ana.  Here we just call it off shores.  Whatever you may call it, it is a sure sign of fall.  Plan for an epic weekend.  I know I said that before, but I really feel it this time.  Will update before Thursday evening to look at the details of the coming awesome.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Candians:1, Americans: 0

I went with the GPS model.  They kept us pretty dry, even with the latest run last night, showing up to a tenth of an inch.  I've for sure got way more than that in our yard with the afternoon down pour.  The Japanese kept the bulk of the moisture well to our north as well, but was still a bit more bullish than the GPS.  Only the Canadian had been consistent with us getting a solid amount of water.  Go Canucks.  I'll for sure need to keep an eye on their models for Tuesday's system.

Fog bank near Capitola.  While it should be sunny, we could still see a little lingering on the water this week.

With the rain, comes the wind.  South winds really surged mid day on Saturday.  It is wintery for sure.  Go figure.  October is still looking to shape up nicely with high pressure building after Tuesday, and even maybe surging inland.  That is exactly what we look for to bring us warm, clear and calm days with crisp and clear mornings.  You know, fall like weather.

Let's look at what the next few days have in store for us.  Today, Sunday is quite a bit warmer already.  And sunny, after some morning cloud and fog mix along the water.  Monday is still looking like a real winner, with light winds through the morning and hitting perhaps 80F here in town.  Tuesday is more sunshine, and still getting up into the mid 70s.  A short wave moves through, bringing rain to our north and cooling on Wednesday.  But it will still be in the 70s.  Warming through late in the week.  And we could be up for a stellar fall weekend coming up.  High pressure is looking to settle on us, which could me light winds and some nice heat.

If things change before Tuesday and Wednesday, and it looks like we might get some rain, I will be sure to update.  I'l keep an eye and the prospective awesome coming weekend as well.  In the meantime, be sure to know that Tahoe saw its first snow, with several inches on the peaks, and the coastline saw its first dose of north west swell to boot.  More waves on the way for the coming week, and an active storm pattern persists, with the bulk of the rain hitting Portland and points north.  Autumn has begun.  Now please send in the spectacular weather.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

First Day of Autumn Update

Just a quick one folks.  Looks like rain is moving in and is just off the coast to our west.  We still might be spared, but there were reports of real rain this morning in the Santa Cruz Mountains and I swear there is over an inch in my bucket.  Gotta see if it was picking up water from the roof drip.  Anyway, it was a damp morning and a swath of weather is on the way for this afternoon.  Good chance of rain later today.  Clearing out with sun tomorrow.  Warm Monday.  Round two on Tuesday.  I will update with more detail later, but thought I'd let you know what I see.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Powder Day this Weekend!!

Woot, woot!  What?  Is it time to put away the pool floaties and break out the parka?  Not quite yet, but it is gonna get chilly tonight and Saturday.  Recent model runs carves this weekend's storm further south.  Snow looks likely on the peaks around Tahoe, but just showers at the lake.  Our chance of rain has increased, but I am still not expect much more than a brief drizzle.  And I'd put money on less than that.  I'd draw the rain like a little further south than before.  How does Sausalito sound?  That keeps you dry in the Marina.

Been a lot of big planes cruising the coast recently.  This one is getting fueled up above Santa Cruz.

The forecast does not really change.  Saturday will be cool with a chance for morning showers.  Clouds clear out and temps move back into the 70s on Sunday and near 80F for Monday.  Light winds through the weekend, and a nice solid 6@14 north west swell to arrive later tonight and give us chest high waves in town to several feet overhead up the coast.  Maybe another round of waves for Tuesday.  But this weekend looks great.  Long term we are looking at some more dry, warm, fall like weather to move us into October.  So get through these two storms, that bring mostly just a chill, and it will be time to hit up the beach again soon.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rain Stays North. Epic Thursday and then Cooler Early Winter Weather to Follow.

I've been saying for a while that we are a month a head of schedule.  I still believe it.  I was a walking down to the beach with my son yesterday morning in clear, crisp weather as they guy near us stated that usually this time of year we have sun and no wind.  Hopeful.  That actually is more of an October pattern, which is the month of lightest winds along the Santa Cruz county coast.  We are still is summer for a few more days folks.  Often we are still seeing heavy fog through the early afternoon.  In that respect, the weather has been down right epic.  And looking at the big picture, we continue to see storms moving through the Gulf of Alaska.  As I type, the strongest one yet this season is wrapping up and getting pretty deep.  This one should drop to 978mb, or less.  And then it will start heading our way.  No worries though.  We are Santa Cruz, and this thing should stay to our north.  Let's see how the weather is going to break down.

Local, Santa Cruz marigolds.  

Today, Thursday is gonna go off the hook.  Sorry, no waves, but it will be in the 80s here in town.  I've been working in a sunny spot in the yard, and it was hot there yesterday.  I bet I get a reading over 85F there today.  With mostly lighter winds in town, every where should heat up.  Out on the water west of town winds will build to 15 knots or so, but I don't expect that will find its way much past Natural Bridges.  That storm I spoke of will begin to move south as it builds in strength.  Tomorrow will be a good bit cooler as colder air moves into the region.  Low to mid 70s on Friday, but still plenty of sunshine and no fog here.  Clouds could begin to thicken in the evening.  To our north, light rain is expected overnight.  Rain is likely in Sonoma, and Del Norte should get well over an inch of Rain.  Seattle is looking at something like 4 inches over the next few days.  With a little luck, we will get some light showers before Saturday morning, but it is not likely.  But it will start our crisp.  And not warm up all that much.  Highs will likely stay in the upper 60s.  Like I said.  Early winter weather on the first day of autumn.

Things rebound after that.  And Saturday will not be crappy.  Clouds will clear out early and the day will be nice.  Winds will be very light.  Both in town and out on the open ocean.  And a new swell will be in the water offering up head high surf in town and bigger on the open coast.  It should be one of the best surf days since July or June even.  Sunday warms back in to the 70s.  Monday might hit 80F.  Cooling for Tuesday as we again see a winter storm directly impacting the PNW and another new NW swell hitting our coast.  After that we return to a more seasonal late summer/ early fall like pattern, with high pressure and maybe a chance of morning fog.  I'll post back up here as the forecast pans out.

Long and short is today, Thursday is freaking awesome.  Get out and get sum.  Cooler Friday, but still nice.  Cooler Saturday, and even a slight chance of early morning showers.  Sunday looks like Friday and Monday looks like Thursday.  Not a totally epic weekend, but pretty damn nice.  And if you surf, it will be very damn nice with a nice mid to long period overhead swell.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Awesome-cast!! This forecast just got awesome folks.

Seriously, what a difference a day makes.  But take that with this grain of salt.  The models have been all over the place, and having a hard time on agreeing on a solution.  But the runs from today make this coming week look like a real winner.  Tomorrow, Monday will start with some patches of fog, but again the west side of town and spots norths are likely gonna see the sun rise.  Warm again pushing up into the mid 70s.  Wind will be an issue in the afternoon.  High pressure is going to rush in quickly, as it has only a limited time to develop.  Tuesday is unspectacular in the same way, but with a bit cooler air temps and a bit less wind.  And perhaps a bit less fog.


Now, I thought it was interesting that a storm system could sweep over us and not wipe out the fog.  Well, this mornings run keeps the storm a bit to our north, but it real begins to develop in the southeastern Gulf on Wednesday, dropping to a 972mb low pressure centered of the British Columbia coastline.  It will push south and inland as it weakens on Friday and Saturday, as another low strengthens back off the BC coast.  This next system will not get as deep, but will be much broader and push inland near Seattle on Tuesday.  The upshot is that Del Norte County and points north will get a good dose of rain these next ten days.  If all this comes to pass we will see improving weather and a few slight chances of passing showers.

Wednesday will likely break with sunshine.  It will still be a bit breezy on the water and back up into the mid 70s.  Fall like weather kicks in by Thursday with sunshine, little wind and temps pushing up toward 80.  Friday will start off similar, but could see a few clouds in the afternoon.  Chances for passing showers.  Much more likely north of SF, but we could see some here.  Clearing and sunny for Saturday.  It could actually be quite pleasant this coming weekend.  And all those storms are going to send us some decent swell as well.  Right now it looks like things will be pretty nice through Tuesday, with another chance of showers.  High pressure develops after that.

Or that is how things look this morning.  Yesterday it was all fog cast.  As the season changes, weather patterns become more active and small shifts in storm tracks can make significant changes to the weather pattern.  Like from late summer fog and wind to early fall sun and calm.  I like the latter.

Quickly, it looks similar to the weekend to start the week.  Fair weather.  Gets nicer as the week progresses.  Wednesday to still have a bit of a wind issue.  By Thursday it might begin to feel hot.  Or like perfect beach weather.  The weekend is looking killer.  Check back here for changes in the forecast.  I'll try to stay on top of it this week.  Don't want you to miss an awesome weekend or get caught in the rain.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rain again finds its way into the models.

What month is it anyway?  The northern hemisphere is keeping on track with staying just about a month ahead of schedule.  Open Snow has a post from August 30th stating the climate models suggest a long, warm and dry autumn.  The GFS seems to disagree.  Even NOAA is calling for a slight chance of rain by week's end.  But for now, at least, more of the same with mediocre late summer weather.  That pretty much means cool mornings with some fog.  Much more fog on the east side as opposed to west of town.  The north coast and the west side hill woke to a sunny sky today.  With luck we will see more of that tomorrow.  Eastside clears out around 11AM.  High in the mid 70s.  Warmer is spots.  Brisk breeze on the north coast by mid morning, but not a whole bunch of wind making its way into town.  Nice beach weather once the fog clears out.  And more of the same lined up for the coming week, with Thursday looking like the peak of the warmth.  Then things begin to look a little interesting.

Wells Harbor, Maine at low tide.  

If we are watching the weather in the PNW, BC and the Gulf of Alaska, it is already interesting.  Small gales have been moving across the ocean and bringing decent rains to the coastline.  More are expected, even with an inactive MJO.  The jet ever quite falls apart.  Impressive for mid September.  Surfers were happy this weekend with the first taste of fall surf.  But ultimately, that was pretty weak sauce and much stronger swells can be expected soon.  The first system of interest is kind of weak, but moves south just a few hundred miles off the coast, picks up water and moves inland just to our north on Friday.  That is where our slight chance of rain comes from.  We will need to monitor this track and see if we actually pick up and precipitation.  Seems unlikely at this point.  A second storm is modeled, a bit stronger, and a bit further south for around the 24th.  This one also is aimed a bit north, but is currently modeled to bring us some light rain.  A third follows, but just before hitting shore zooms up toward Bristish Columbia.  A forth is after that, and again might pull some rain our way.

Now, these are all long term models and provide very little confidence in terms of forecast, but, and a bit but, they do suggest potential weather trends.  So we should keep an eye on things and watch and see if the jet works its way into California.  The fire fighters would be pretty happy with some rain.  No me.  I've got another month or more of excavating to complete in my yard before I tie it up for the rainy season.  I don't mind waiting a bit longer for some snow.  But it would sure be nice if these storms do begin moving closer to us and sending us some juicy waves.  Check back here in the coming days for the rain forecast.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One more day of super gloom, and then slight improvement.

I mean, at least it won't be cold.  We saw the drizzle this morning, packed the car and headed to Happy Hollow to enjoy some warmth.  When we hit the summit, my son yelled out, "sunshine."  Because there it was.  Just on the other side of the hill.  Santa Cruz was socked in and wet through the morning.  Low fog pulled out around noon to reveal high fog.  And it was chilly.  Just about 62F at 2PM.  Don't think it got much warmer than that.  I even went to work in the yard with a flannel on today.  Expect more of the same tomorrow, although it might be a slight bit warmer and a slight bit dryer.  As we move toward the weekend, we might start to see bits of the sun.  And we could see ourselves move into the mid 70s as the inland empire begins their late summer bake off.  It sure is good to live on the coast, even if we need to deal with a little bit of grey now and again.

While the weather is only looking to get a touch better, we are expecting some of the best surf since the first week of August to start showing up late Wednesday.  That is not saying much as it as been so flat recently.  A SSW and a WNW should both begin showing around the same time.  The good news is that the light
Shorebreak.  Wells Beach.  Read more about it at Wave Stoke.
south flow that allows the fog to wallow, is the same condition that gives us nice glassy conditions up and down the coast.  The ample crowds that will converge on the surf starting Thursday and into the weekend will at least be able to spread out a bit.  Find your best combo spot, and mind the afternoon high tide and you should do well in finding some fun surf.  By Saturday, we may start to see the start of a northwest flow, so it will likely be breezy by afternoon.  It also means we should begin seeing some building wind swell.

Long term we see another storm rolling through the northern Gulf, but after that it looks like things will slow down as the MJO moves into the inactive phase.  But they are not quite going to sleep, as Ma Nature seems to want to hold onto a autumn like condition.  Mid month low pressure retrogrades onto the Gulf.  Broad and weak, it won't do much for the surf.  Or bring rain for that matter.  But it is not typical summer weather.  And broad, weak low pressure seems to take one form or another through much of the month.  Granted, these are poor long term models, but it is significant that they suggest a progressive pattern even through and inactive MJO.  The snow prognosticators say it is gonna be a long and warm fall with snow hitting us in late December.  Sounds good to me.  I've got a lot of projects going.  Let's just get rid of the fog first.  Maybe next week.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye Finest Stuff. Hello Greydom.

Well, it is not really that bad.  Sun will be out some time during the day, but the sunrises and heat of the last week to ten days are now a thing of the past.  My friend said he was out walking the dog at Midnight on Saturday and he knew the next day would be more typical summer.  The air was wet.  And so returns the marine layer.  And it is a thick and low one.  Hell, NPR just posted a correction, calling the dense fog, really dense.  It is.  Here is what we can look forward to over the next few days.  Things edge toward a better forecast as we move through the week.

Catch and release was this guy's favorite game.  Wells Beach, Maine.

We start off with that really dense fog on Monday, clearing out from the west side around 11AM.  The east side may take a bit longer to clear, but it will likely get warmer in the Live Oak area as opposed to Mission Street.  That fog actually should linger along the coast west of town pretty much all day.  While that will keep the sea breeze down, it will has suppress the high temps for the day.  Expect upper 60s in all but the warmest parts of town.  Even downtown will find it hard breaking into the 70s.  Best be hanging out at the CostCo or Home Depot parking lots.  Asphalt will be your friend.  More of the same for Tuesday.  By Wednesday we could see a light south flow developing, and we may see fog lingering in town even until early afternoon.  Almost as if we were in a June Gloom.  And it remains cools.  Thursday will bring some warming.  And also some surf.  Yay!

Finally, right?  Still fog persists.  The good news is warmer air will move into the region and we will boost back into the low to mid 70s.  Chilly foggy mornings with sunny afternoons.  Fog could linger through the day on the north coast.  And winds remain light.  A small long period south swell should arrive some time on Wednesday, with a bigger boost to end out the week.  And, a mid period north west swell should arrive on Thursday.  So look for your best combo break to make the most of it.  Wave heights will vary, depending on the break, from waist high to possibly a few feet overhead.  Surf should drop, but persist through the weekend.  Foggy mornings, and mid 70s and sun for the afternoon persists through the weekend.  Looking at the GFS, it looks like the lows moving into the Gulf of Alaska will not get enough east before being pushed north to do much to help suppress the fog machine.  The weather has shifted, every so slightly, from fall-like, back to summer-like.  Hopefully we shift back for next week.  I was enjoying that.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Don't Worry, the weather should improve...

So they say.  But it has really been pretty damn superb since last Thursday or so.  Mostly sunny mornings, with just a touch of fog on Saturday.  Sunshine and getting warmer daily.  It really does not get much better than this.  Fantastic beach weather, and best to avoid parking lots in the mid afternoon.  Yeah, that kind of warmth.  I measured 83F at 5PM yesterday near downtown.  Almost as warm on West Cliff.  Today should fair about the same.  Sun was out early with only a small patch of fog hanging on the coast in the bay near Sand City.  Thank you.  Perhaps summer is done.  Or, what I mean by that, the fog is over.  Keep those fingers crossed.  The NPAC seems to think we should be running a fall program.  Details below.

Lonely surf on a grey summer morning.  Wells Beach, Maine.

Today starts off great, but as high pressure finally gets a nose into our region, brisk NW winds will pick up on the open coast this afternoon.  The gradient sets up, and slowly shifts to our north.  So, warmest around just after noon, with some cooling due to the breeze late in the day.  Very slight chance of fog setting up for tonight and tomorrow morning.  High of about 80F today.  As for that potential of fog, those breezes from this afternoon could persist through the night, keeping our sky sunny.  As the interior heats up tomorrow, we could see the start of an offshore flow.  Depending on how that goes, we could see increasing temps over the weekend.  High of 85F on Friday.

Regardless of what happens here in Santa Cruz, if you live in the valley, you will want to visit the coast this weekend.  It will be hot inland, with possible 100F around Interstate 5 in the central valley.  If the offshore flow turns on, we could be moving into the mid and upper 80s.  More likely though, we will see a slack wind, and temps in the low 80s.  Regardless, it is gonna be super nice and no fog through at least Monday.  Longterm we see a fall pattern continuing.  But more on that later.  We need to go hit the beach.