Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Over Achievers.

We have had two this year.  Just a guess, but I supposes the storm from past few days had a Tiger Mom.  It just kept on giving its best.  Things looked pretty nice by 9AM Monday morning, and it really looked like this thing was clearing east earlier, but instead it was just wrapping up along the coast and driving into the Sierra.  Areas on the crest north of Tahoe are reporting nearly 30 inches of snow from this system.  Kirkwood is reporting 10 inches.  My very rudimentary rain gauge is reporting about an inch of rain in my yard, and quite a bit more fell in the Santa Cruz mountains.  Not a bad start to the water year (Septembers rain fall fell in last year's water calendar).  And a few of the creeks broke though the beaches over the past two days and started running again.  Makes it feel like winter almost.  But this is a forecast page, so let us look at the next few days.  Should improve a bit.

Splash Zone, 4 Mile Beach, Santa Cruz.

Tonight the interior valleys have a frost warning.  We don't quite need to worry about that, but it will be crisp first thing, as the air is cold, and the stars are out.  Low 40s along the coast, and mid to upper 30s as you move up into the local hills.  Things will slowly warm up, with sun and mostly calm wind.  Still, it won't get too warm tomorrow, maybe reaching the 65F.  Thursday and Friday see each a bit warmer than the previous day, with a decent chance of hitting 70F in the Costco parking lot before the work week finishes.  Saturday again looks quite pleasant.  Light winds during the period as well.  Nights will be cool in the low to mid 40s.  So you might want to choose a Halloween costume that keeps you warm, as opposed to bares your flesh.  Think "sexy for a werewolf," as in keeping it fury.  After Saturday we begin to see the effects of another system that will be coming into the coast up in the PNW.

All models are currently keeping this next system, or at least its rain, to our north.  Keep in mind two things.  This storm is still more than 72 hours away, and it is a cut off system.  A lot can change in its tract.  Currently we are only expecting a return to cooler air, with day time highs in the low 60s and night time lows in the low 40s.  No much in the way of clouds either, but we could see a strong onshore flow develop as the cold front moves through our area.  The long term keeps suggesting a wet period around the 10th, so keep that in mind while working on projects and making plans.  I'm now hoping to have my yard work mostly wrapped up for the season by then.  I was shooting for Thanksgiving, but if it is going to get wet, I'd prefer to move to the inside work.  Or maybe go for a ski.

Oh yeah, clean out those gutters and get an extra hour of sleep in Saturday night.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Snow for the Sierra. Cold, wind and drizzle for the Coast.

It sure felt wintery today.  But there is good news in this forecast, so be sure to read on.  As we wrap up a blustery Sunday, one can expect a cold, windy and damp night.  Rainfall amounts are expected to be measured in the tenths of an inch around the Bay Area.  The Monday morning commute will be a wet one, as light showers have already begun across the region.  For those of you who are always ready for ski season, the Sierra could see some decent snow this evening and tomorrow with upwards of a foot in the most ideal locations, with several inches down to 5000 feet.  Not quite enough for an early opener, but it is a little help from Ma Nature as the resorts get ready to fire up the snow guns in advance of Thanksgiving.  Interesting weather we are having.  Inclement weather should stick around most of the day tomorrow, with a good chance of the showers stopping by mid afternoon.  High temperature of about 58F here in Santa Cruz.

Seagull, enjoying the view, along the cliff of 4 Mile Beach, Santa Cruz.

Tuesday, this weather system will shift east and high pressure will begin to nose in.  Over night lows will be quite chilly, especially as we lose the cloud cover.  Mountain valleys should be watching out for a frost on Wednesday morning, and measures might want to be taken if you have any tender winter crop seedlings in the ground.  Day time highs will start to increase with mid 60s by Wednesday and upper 60s and maybe even 70F for Friday.  Another low pressure system will develop in the eastern Gulf and move ashore to our north next weekend.  Right now it looks like the system and its rain will stay to our north and only deliver some cooler air to us.  Back down into the low 60s for the weekend.  But keep checking back here, as the GFS has not done so well this year with the mid term.  The Euro also keeps this system in the PNW, but I am starting to get a gut feeling that we might be moving into an early wet season.  Maybe I'm finally starting to think about snow.

So the good news.  Fog marine layer looks to take a beating from this storm, and by Tuesday afternoon we should be looking at sunshine through the work week.  And if this next system does stay north next weekend, while a bit crisp, should be sunny.  And again, Thursday, or otherwise known as, Halloween, looks like it will be dry.  That is always appreciated.  Check back tomorrow for updates on the snow, a more detailed look at the coming weekend and some long term forecast babble.

Showers are looking more likely by tonight and into Monday!

Very quick post for this morning, as I am off to brunch and then the zoo.  GFS has settled on a wetter solution.  Looks like the Euro wins this round.  In short, most of the moisture will remain to our north and east.  Tahoe could see a dusting of snow with six inches plus on the peaks.  We could see a band of moisture move through the coastal zone later this evening and through the morning commute hours on Monday.  And it is going to be cold out there.  This may be a good night to turn on the heat folks.  And bundle up and stay warm.  I will try to post more details tonight.  Welcome to the time of year when you really need to start paying attention to the weather.  As a final note, this is not a heavy rain event for us.  Just showers and cold.  But enough to chill ya to the bones and make those roads slick.  Be safe out there.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A better weekend, but more chilly, and maybe rain, to come.

Today will be the best day of the week, bookended by days of freezing fog last week, and winter chill next.  So bottom line, get out and enjoy the weather today.  The sun came up to a clear sky in Santa Cruz with just a touch of marine layer hanging on the water.  It should warm up into the low 70s today.  Just like we like it here on the Central Coast in October.  But that won't last.  At least the fog is on retreat, and should not fill back in like we saw last week.  Sunday looks like another clear one, but with cool air starting to push down the coast, we will see a high only in the mid 60s.  And that is when things start to get interesting.

This guy was hanging out on the beach with us the other day.  Near Santa Cruz.

NOAA is calling for a slight chance of showers here on Monday, with a greater chance for snow showers in Tahoe.  The GFS has the system well to our east, and the Euro has it hitting squarely in the Sierra.  I'm calling for a colder and cloudy day, but no rain.  I just don't think this thing will hit us.  Just to our west, a small cut off low will drift south and dissipate.   Folks in San Diego County could see a few showers Tuesday as this thing gets drawn inland by the short wave that misses us to the east.  But I think we will stay dry.  If it does rain on Monday, it will be very light and sporadic showers.  Nothing like the rain storms we saw last October, or even that weekend this past September.  But it is a sign of things to come as the pattern gets more progressive.  Regardless, it will be a cold one as the high of the day struggles to get out of the 50s.  And with cloud cover, it will be chilly.

The week slowly improves from there, moving back into the low 60s by Tuesday, and slowly warming up each day until by next Saturday we could be starting November back up in the 70s.  Clouds will likely stick around for Tuesday, but days will be mostly clear after that.  Good news is that Halloween is looking like a dry one this year.  Long term the models keep suggesting that a major rain system will hit the west coast sometime around the second week of November.  This could all be to our north, or pure fantasy, but something to monitor.  We could also be seeing another large swell event the beginning of next month.  Check back here.  And don't forget turn back your clocks on November 2nd.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer fog combines with low sun angle to help freeze my hands

Morning folks. I meant to post this up last night for you, but life got the better of me and I made some fish stock instead.  My apologies, but I had to do something with that fish head before garbage pick up this morning.  Anyway, enough about me.  It is freezing cold out there.  Yesterday never really warmed up, and it looks like that marine layer is going to be stubborn and stick around for a few more days.  Today it is going to be down right cold.  Winter cold, with a high hovering in the mid 50s.  So bundle up and try to stay warm.  Don a beanie and some gloves.  And if you are headed out onto the water, you may want to wear your warm suit.  But let us not feel too sorry for ourselves, a warm up and return to fall like weather should return for the weekend.  Read on.

Hitting the water these past few days was well worth it.  A surfer takes the plunge.

Day to day, things should improve through Saturday.  Moderate NW breezes should pick up this afternoon to clear that fog out, but not in time to provide us with a true warm up.  Friday looks a bit better, with late morning clearing and highs back up into the 60s across town.  Expect it to remain cool at the beaches as we are in an on shore flow.  Saturday, with some luck, will be devoid of a marine layer, and things warm up into the low 70s.  That would be quite nice after this very chilly week.  Sunday looks to be a touch cooler, but still staying in the low 70s.  Get out and enjoy this weekend, as a cod front should come through to start off this next week and drop day time highs back into the upper 60s.  Overnight lows continue in the upper 40s through the period.

The large long period swell that arrived on Monday continues to back off today and Friday, offering some chest to head high surf.  Mornings continue to look decent with afternoons getting a bit breezy.  This weekend looks a bit smaller, but a new small NW swell could arrive some time on Sunday and peak early next week.  Nothing epic, but it is something if you want to get out there.  Winds could be ideal on Monday for surfing up the coast.  Further to our north, the short wave moving through our region could bring showers.  But it looks plenty dry down here.  The long term models keep depicting a wet period about 12 days out, but with each run, it keeps getting knock back.  But stay tuned, as the wet season is just around the corner.  And don't forget to turn those clocks back in a few weeks on November 3rd.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A touch of summer for the next few days.

That may sound like good news, but if you think about, summer kind of blows around here.  Okay, that is a bit harsh, but summer in October is the pits.  Cold, foggy mornings are on tap for the next few days.  And even when that sun does come out, it will be low in the sky and the warm up will be weak, and brief.  NOAA is still calling for a high of about 70F for the next few days, but I will be happy if we see much more than mid 60s.  But this will not last long, so hunker down, get some work done and enjoy the afternoons.  Here is how it will all break down.

I've been enjoying this guy at 4 Mile Beach.  One of the moments I wish for a cloudy sky.

That marine layer is low and thick this Sunday morning.  With a bit of luck, it will begin to break up around noon as the interior warms up and a sea breeze develops.  This sea breeze is on the weaker side, so some areas may not see the fog blow out.  Once the sun does come out, it will feel much warmer and might, just might reach up to 70F.  But if you are near the ocean, it will remain quite chill.  Monday and Tuesday it looks like we will be seeing more of the same.  By Wednesday, high pressure begins to nose in and we could return to more typical fall weather with clear, crisp mornings and the daily highs moving back up into the low and mid 70s.  Probably a bigger change will be how things will start to warm up earlier in the day, so you will not need to wear your puffy until noon thirty.  By Saturday things are looking pretty nice again, but don't expect the mid 80s we saw on Wednesday.  But you can always keep on hoping.  It is not winter time yet.

Speaking of which, those storms modeled for the west coast have fizzled out.  Good news.  Up in the PNW they may still get rain, but as of now it looks like the cut off low will hang out to our west and slowly dissipate over the open waters.  Good news.  I'm still hoping, and needing, the rainy season to hold off for another month or two.  Lots of work going on around the house.  But here is the big news for the week.  By late Monday morning the coast line will start seeing the impact of a long period north west swell that was generated by a healthy extra tropical storm near the date line.  Now this things is not going to be huge by any means, but it will still be a healthy swell.  This is almost more dangerous for beach goers and on lookers, as you will not see the swells approaching from well off shore.  Ranging from 2 to 6 feet of deep water swell, but with periods initially in excess of 22 seconds, these things will still travel well up cliff lines, over rocks and into area beaches and coves.  Use caution and keep an eye on the ocean over the next few days.  Don't be that guy we hear about on the news who went inadvertently for a swim in the Pacific.  On the other hand, it will be opening day for winter surf in town and of a moderate size to boot.  If you want some, go get it.  Forerunners on Monday, with a peak late Tuesday.  And winds look light up the coast if you feel the need for a little more juice.

In short, foggy mornings for the next few days.  No rain.  Sunny mornings later in the week, with mild temperatures.  Perfect weather for surfing, or biking, or apple picking, or pumpkin patching or whatever.  Check back here for updates.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Splitting the difference.

It was pretty nice out there today.  The car thermo recorded 82F, parked in the sun, at Harvey West Park, around 12:15 today.  It did not feel quite that warm, but it was close.  And it felt that warm on my deck around 2PM.  But only briefly.  Remember that high temperatures this time of year really are only during the warmest hour or two during the day.  The time of heat by 10AM are done for the next six months or so.  Regardless, my son and I are planning a beach day for tomorrow.  Should be pretty nice out there.  A clear sky tonight will lead toward a crisp morning.  Expect temps in the mid to upper 40s at day break.  And expect sunshine.  Another wonderful day on tap with a high of around 80F tucked in a sunny nook near the base of the local hills.  And maybe 75F down on the beaches.  And little to no winds.  Should be a winner.

Surfing near the tide pools, Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz

On Monday I mentioned that NOAA was calling for a drop in temperatures after Wednesday.  I was just not seeing it in the models.  So that backed down a little bit.  And I can sort of see what they are thinking.  A few, very weak and dry short waves are going to pass over our area, and will presumably pull in colder air behind them.  I still think it is going to stay nice, but do expect Wednesday to be the warmest day of the week.  Thursday and Friday should stay in the mid 70s, with Saturday in the low 70s.  Depending on how these short waves come through, we could be back down in the upper 60s for a few days, before warming back into the 70s.  The the big news is the combination of no rain, no fog and very light winds.  If we cool off late int he weekend, it will likely be accompanied by a moderate north west afternoon sea breeze.  Nothing too strong though, so all in all, some very pleasant weather sticking around.  A nice fall week.  Well, sort of.

If you are a surfer, this is the weather you love.  Those light winds I was writing about give us glass through most of the day.  Unfortunately, the swell looks more like mid summer than early fall.  It is basically flat out there.  We have not seen this small of a swell since late August.  Oh well.  Good news is that we should at least see some small north west building tomorrow and then backing off through the work week.  Saturday you might just want to get the bike out and go for a ride, or pick apples or hit up the pumpkin patch.  I'm sure you can figure something awesome to do here on a beautiful October day.  Sunday looks slightly better, but word is that we could be back into some plus sized surf by next Tuesday.  And if it is snow you are looking for, the long term models has us pretty wet just before Halloween.  Just don't hold your breath on that one.  But check back her to see how that pans out.  As modeled right now, you don't want to be caught with your pants down with this one.  

Oh yeah, so about that repeat picture.  It was a long weekend.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A little warming to start the week.

Hey folks.  Just got back from a long weekend of wine and conversation up in Napa.  It was a bit crisper up there than I had expected.  It certainly feel like fall around these parts.  But that sun is still a toasty one.  Marine layer was showing in the mornings for sure.  It does look like we should be moving into a dryer situation, and we may be lucky enough to hold that marine layer at bay by mid week.  Best bet is for some fog in the morning on Monday, but with mid day temps rising up into the low to mid 70s.  As some one pointed out to me over fine glass of red, that really is just for the twenty minutes between 3:20 and 3:40 in the afternoon.  Yes, it is that time of year for sure, but with some luck we will see a few more days of true warmth before we settle into winter.  Let's take a look at what the next week has in store for us in beautiful Santa Cruz.

No rain in sight.  Well, none in the reasonable forecast range.  Fog will likely be sitting on the coast to start off the week, but by Tuesday things are looking up.  Sunny start to the day.  Of course, that allows for more radiational cooling overnight, so we are looking at a crisp 45F at day break.  With sun though, and very minimal breezes, we should be pushing up past 75F for a mid day high.  It might even get a touch warmer than that, and if you can find a sunny spot, near some rocks and out of the wind, it will feel quite nice.  Of course, you could always go hang out in the Costco parking lot and bake, but the views are just not that lovely.  The shade will remain crisp through most of the day.  Wednesday looks even nicer with a real chance to push up to 80F in the best locations in town.  After that we may see a decline in high temps.  NOAA is calling for a significant drop in temperatures,  but the GFS models suggest otherwise.  Anyway, we could see the high down in the low 70s.  And even cooler by the weekend.  I'm just not seeing where that cooler airmass is coming from, so I'm going to put my money on staying in the mid 70s.  Regardless, we should continue to see sunshine and light winds.

The mid term models are suggesting another chance of rain for late next week, or around the 24th.  This would be the result of a weak, cut off system drifting over us.  Couple that with the fact that it is 10 days out, confidence is very low.  Just putting it out there for now.  I'll report back here if anything develops from this.  Otherwise, the month looks dry.  We are also in a dry spell for surf right now, with nothing significant on the horizon.  Of course this is the case we the light winds are creating excellent conditions for surfing all over the coast.  With luck, you might be able to find a little small surf to at least get out and have some fun on.  Models are suggesting that we might see some more storms developing in the far north Pacific by later this week, and maybe some decent swell for next week.  But don't hold your breath as these storms are still four or five days from even developing.  More on that later.  For now, slight warming weather and lots of sunshine for the coming week.  With those cool mornings it seems that time is ripe for picking out a pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winter Weather Advisory; or Hop, Skip, Jump.

Another short one this morning, just to let you know the West Slope is under a Winter Weather Advisory today.  Looks like we will pretty much stay dry and avoid the rain in these parts.  Just some clouds that are already breaking apart.  Cool again on the coast this morning.  One to four inches above 6000 feet.  If you are driving at elevation, please be prepared.  Nothing in the way of road closure, but still worth paying attention to us.  Even more snow in the mountains down around L.A.  This thing is basically going to hop over us, skip the Sierra (for the most part) and jump right on SoCal.  Continues cool nights in the mid to upper 40s and mild days warming to about 70F.  More to come.  Things are certainly getting interesting around here.  All the while, the prognosticators are still calling for a late start to winter and a drawn out fire season.  I'll try to get up a full forecast for the coming weekend and start of next week, later this evening.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A little fog and grey. Sunny mornings are only a wish away.

Quick post up this morning, as I forgot to hit 'publish' last night.  That marine layer did develop late last night and push ashore for a chilly, damp feeling morning.  No early warm up today.  Fog should clear out with the help of some NW breezes by mid day today.  As for tonight and tomorrow, that Pacific storm system will push across our region.  Some light snow for the Sierra, but the bulk of the moisture will be to our south.  Chance for drizzle after midnight tonight.  Tomorrow will also start off grey.  It will look the same as this morning, but it will be more of a winter and cloud effect than a summer and fog.  No worries, it will feel the same on the bones.  Cool.

Still looking for a slight warm up through the end of the week, as we return to sunshine and low 70s.  More later.  The boy and I are off to look as some fish and escape the chill.

Evening Edit:  Sorry, forgot to mention the cold nights.  Lows are now dropping into the mid to upper 40s across the region, as opposed to low 50s.  Sure sign of fall weather.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gonna feel chilly out there soon, but at least you aren't in L.A.

That is right folks.  We are looking to have a better week than SoCal.  You may not be so impressed though, as it will be quite a bit cooler Monday and through mid week than the past three days.  In case you spent them in a cubicle, it has been off the hook since Friday.  Pretty much no wind through the entire day and easily into the mid 80s.  My car thermo had a reading of 88F, then I pulled out of the driveway at 4PM on Friday.  As I drove over the hill, it dropped a good ten degrees.  It was warmer at home than in Saratoga.  Seriously.  Okay, maybe it was because it was late in the day, and it was the usual evening cooling, but who cares really.  This weekend is about as good as it gets around here.  We spent a few very pleasant days at the beach, and even at the waters edge it was nice to get some sun and sit around in the board shorts.  But things, they are a changing.

Anyone know if Dr. Suess is from around here?  The Hook, Santa Cruz.

Cooler on Monday, as a cold front begins to make its way down the coast.  The morning will start out like the past few, and it will be fairly warm in the mid to late morning.  But heating will be halted as northerly winds pick up mid day and usher in some cooler air.  Lets call it 70F+.  But not too much plus.  Still, not a bad day as we continue to enjoy sunshine and a lack of fog.  As it stands right now, I don't see a marine layer building in, but we are shifting into a somewhat summer like pattern, with high pressure building.  Only some what though.  We actually have a weak low pressure system moving south down the coast as it falls apart.  The PNW will see some rain on Monday, and then the thing kind of just splinters.  Cool air falls south, and the low pressure system in the South West begins to draw in moisture from the dying storm and off the Pacific.  What does that mean for us?  Cooler yet on Tuesday as temps peak in the mid 60s.  Geez.

As that system in the SW pulls moisture in, the L.A. area is likely to see rain on Wednesday and through the end of the week.  We might get a few sprinkles on humpday, but I don't think it is very likely.  We are kind of missed by this thing as it jumps from the PNW to the SW.  Lucky us.  But we could see some cloud cover.  Wednesday will feel cool.  With some luck, the winds will go slack. As a note, this could be a good surf day, as a north gradient will have generated some mid period wind swell by then.  Anyway, as very slow warm up begins after that and through the end of the work week.  But it might be a little time before we head back up through the 70s and into the 80s.  Check back here for more updates.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Classic Fall Weather on Tap, with something even better for the Weekend.

Been planning on having a fun weekend?  This is the one.  Warm, dry and sunny and in the 80s across the region.  Just don't go an try to visit any National Parks, cause that stuff has been shuttered up.  Nice work guys.  Anyway, about the weather.  Today, Wednesday started off pretty cool with a bit of marine layer hanging out just along the water's edge.  Made for a chilly one, so we hopped over to San Jose where it was a good fifteen degrees warmer.  Moderate winds over the water today still allow for some warmth to develop.  Downtown, the Farmer's Market should be feeling pretty nice.  Mid 70s.  As we go through the next few days, things look quite similar.  Pretty much some good weather on tap, with fog limited just to the beaches.  And not all of them.  Afternoon winds continue on thursday, but look to lighten up for Friday.  Let's call it almost 80F for the last day of the work week.

Hanging in the splash zone north of town.  Near Santa Cruz, on a beautiful autumn day.

All in all, things are starting to feel a little more on track, with typical October weather in both the near and long term.  This last storm finally completed its run ashore well north of our region.  Not a speck of rain.  Sunshine pretty much all the way.  And that is how the coming weekend looks, with a potential offshore event and significant coastal warming.  Saturday will break brisk, in the lower 50s.  The sun will slowly warm things up.  Do remember it is October.  As a breeze begins to push out of the valley, warm air will caress the beaches.  You find the right south facing location and it will be plenty toasty to get your tan on.  Not hot mind you, just nice an warm and pleasant out.  Sunday looks almost as nice, and as we move into next week, the wind shifts to a more northerly direction and we find ourselves back in the low to mid 70s.

Fine, fine weather.  And the long term models suggest that we will continue with mild, sunny weather through the month.  Don't forget that long term models are not very good at specifics.  But they do a decent job of suggesting trends.  So we are likely in for a fine month.