Monday, December 29, 2014

Super Chill

Wind chill that is.  This system is coming in cold, and basically dry along the central coast.  Perhaps a sprinkle over night, but the breezy conditions will have things dried out in no time.  Protect your tender plants.  Wednesday night will be our coldest of the season.  What is crazy about this system is how deep south it will dive, just to our east.  Basically it will be as cold in Malibu and Palm Springs as it is in Santa Cruz.  Okay, we might be a degree or two colder come early Wednesday morning, but barely.  Get out there tomorrow and make sure you are ready for some gusty north east winds.  Those should arrive by afternoon and build into Wednesday.  And did I mention it is going to get cold.  Snow falling down to 2000 feet in the hills surrounding L.A.  Too bad we won't see a bit more moisture with this thing.  One of my favorite things to view is snow on the mountains around Monterey Bay.  Maybe later this year.  Anyway, dress warm, put an extra log or two on the fire, crank up the heater, cozy up with a friend.  What ever it takes, stay warm.  Things will slowly warm through the rest of the week, and we should have a fairly nice weekend coming to us.  We could even begin to move back into the low 60s as early as Sunday, with the overnight lows back into the upper 40s.  Almost tropical, eh?  Still watching next week for a rain maker.  More to come.

Still, it is sunset season.  Just dress a tad warmer.  West Cliff Drive.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Snow for the base of the Palm Springs tram possible.

You know that desert, warm weather resort popular in the 50s, just east of the L.A. Basin?  Yup, that place.  It could get snow.  Seriously.  Well, not the valley floor.  But just up the hill, at the tram base, at about 2,000' elevation, there could be snow falling in a few days.  That would mean that the top of the tram would get snow for sure, at over 8,000'.  Anyway, enjoy another mild, or perhaps just slightly chilly day on Sunday.  Cold start to the morning we have today, but things will warm up into the upper 50s by afternoon, with light winds and plenty of sunshine.  Then an arctic blast makes its way down from Canada on Monday.  The day will start similiar to Sunday, but by afternoon, clouds will become more dominate, and there is a very slight chance of light showers.  Highs reaching only to the mid 50s.  By Tuesday, we should see some colder air in place, along with gusty north northeast winds.  Lucky for us, we live by the sea.  The warm ocean waters will help moderate the air, and keep us from getting too cold.  Low 50s on Tuesday.  Else where, they will feel the cold.  Tahoe will see a high of just about 20F.  The Salinas Valley will see lows drop into the upper 20s.  Freeze and frost advisories are being posted.  The bulk of the moisture wit this system is headed down to southern California.  There is a distinct chance for snow in the inland valleys near L.A. and San Diego.  The Tahoe region is only expecting an inch or two.

Those rainy days earlier in the month were quite a bit warmer.  Lighthouse Field.

By Wednesday, the high pressure becomes dominate, with cold air in place.  Low 30s overnight, and low 50s in the afternoon.  The strong winds should begin to subside, and we will settle into some pleasant, albeit cold, weather to finish of the year.  Perhaps consider some hot beverages for your New Years Eve party.  Crisp, although slightly warmer, and clear weather lasts through the weekend, with high temps climbing back up to about 60F by Sunday.  Next potential rain maker looks to arrive around Tuesday, January 6th.  I will be watching and keeping you posted.  For now, stay warm out there.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cold, the milder, then colder.

You though this morning was chilly?  My buddy reminded me I'm from the north east when I complained of the cold wind on my back just after the sun rose.  The ocean water actually felt warmer than the air.  There was frost on the bench.  At the beach.  Sure, it was in the shade.  It was also at sea level.  I'm sure communities up in the hills had a chill this morning.  Down here in town we will top out in the mid to upper 50s with a crisp breeze blowing out of the north.  Tonight, it gets cold.  If you have any tender plants, you may want to protect them.  Floating row covers, or even a tea towel tossed over you plants will protect them.  Watch out for well shaded, low lying areas where cold air can pool.  Anyway, in the mid 30s tomorrow morning in Santa Cruz.

After the storms.  Missing the rain, yet?

The weekend is looking a touch warmer, with the winds becoming lighter.  Upper 50s, with the overnight low staying above 40F.  Colder, mid to upper 30s, for the mountain valleys.  Down here in town you won't really need to worry about the frost.  On Monday, we see a cold, dry system back door us, similar to Wednesday's system.  Very light showers possible, along with much crisper air, on Tuesday.  Highs will barely reach the lower 50s, with Thursday morning being very cold.  Slight warmer through the New Year.  More updates later.  Stay toasty.

If you are headed up to ski during the holiday, the resorts got an inch or two of cold, dry snow on Christmas Eve on top of a very firm snow pack.  This weekend, it will be about a 32F high at 8000' over the weekend, with highs in the teens for early next week.  Snow will be firm, and fast, with some pockets of chalk.  More snow possible Monday night into Tuesday.  Not epic by any means, but the days the sun are out, should be pleasant enough.  Dress warm.

As for the surf, that is dropping through Saturday, with maybe a new, smaller swell for Sunday and early next week.  WIth winds blowing off shore, some of this stuff could be fun.  Expect waist to chest plus on the eastside, head high on the west, and a touch bigger north and south of town.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tis the season to get cold.

Been a pretty mild autumn.  Had a few hot days in September, but other than those it has been neither cold, nor too warm.  Well, winter is here, and I hope you have some warm clothes.  Or get gifted some in the next few days.  Cause your gonna need em.  Today, Tuesday, is looking fair, with much less fog this morning.  In fact, I can see clear across the bay today.  And we still have that mild air in place.  High temps should reach through the mid 60s, and into the upper 60s today.  Yummy.  And, with all the water that fell last week, the streams and falls are running.  Put on some hikers or stompers and get out there and enjoy the green.  Nature is in a giving mood this season.  Tomorrow, we begin to see a shift.

Just checking out the surf at the Lane.

Before we get to that, we have out final King Tide high this morning, and low this afternoon.  While a little less drastic than yesterday, there will still be some awesome tide pooling and sunset watching on tap this afternoon.  The tide swings negative just about 3:30 this afternoon, and hits a negative 1.24 around 5:30PM.  Try to get a photo with a spiny crab in the foreground and a winter sunset in the back.  Or just enjoy the views.  Anyway, quite a bit cooler tomorrow.  The morning begins similiar, but the air just never quite warms up as much.  Clouds should impact us by afternoon, to a degree.  The coming storm is scheduled for Christmas Eve.  I do believe that Santa prefers to work in a storm, to allow him to perform his duties without detection.  Pretty sure he is sending this storm, as it will feel like it is arriving from the North Pole.  It likely will pass through our area around 6-10PM on Wednesday night.  Just a sprinkle for us though, as the core of the system is compact, and about 100 miles east.  Tahoe could get hit quick and hard, and with a lot of luck, could score up to a foot of light cold smoke powder.  That would be a Christmas Miracle an set the mountains up for a good week of holiday schussing.  If you do head up, expect cold temps with the highs barely getting out of the twenties.  Down here, by Christmas Day (Thursday) we will be stuck in the upper 50s.

Things should clear up on Thursday.  Winds should be light, and off shore.  Surf conditions could go from fair to excellent.  A swell arriving today will fade through the work week.  Perhaps some smaller energy to follow.  Thursday night looks to be one of the coldest yet this season.  The sky remains clear.  A back door slider will attempt to hit the Sierra on Sunday, but it should just be crisp and clear in in Santa Cruz.  Grab a scarf, and enjoy some winter sunshine.  I'll keep you posted about any back door sliders that might try to bring some cold rain.  Otherwise, we look clear through the rest of the year.  Happy holidays, and be your best this season.

Monday, December 22, 2014

One more, then we are going dry in the county.

Better enjoy your eggnog while you can, as we are going dry.  Okay, maybe I mean a different kind of dry, but still, enjoy that eggnog while it is around.  I like mine with a little warm bourbon.  Especially while wrapping gifts.  Anyway, this is a weather blog, so let's get to the important stuff.  remember that awesome weather I promised you?  Well, mother nature seemed to have different plans.  That quick storm for Thursday night lingered into Friday and into the night.  Hell, it was still basically around early Saturday morning.  And those clouds did not clear out, while just inland and in the mountains, rain and snow continued for most of the day.  Sunday turned out fairly nice, but we start off today with a fairly low fog bank.  And warm air.  It is warm out, at least.  Fog should clear by late morning, and once it does, the sky should be mostly clear of clouds.  So, expect a nice afternoon and evening.  Might be a good time to mention the King Tides as well.  A few minutes before sunset today is one of the lowest tides of the year at negative 1.2 feet.  If you, or your little ones, enjoy poking around the tide pools, you really can't get much better than tonight.  So head on down to west cliff, climb down the rocks, and hit up those rare beaches that hardly ever show their sand.  I heard yesterday about some really cool pools around Mitchells Cove.  Go get some.  Highs will reach into the upper 60s today if we can get a start to warming.  Tuesday looks like a duplicate.

Same Monarch, different angle.  Go enjoy them as that sun begins to shine.  Lighthouse Field.  Santa Cruz.

Surf has been dropping since a peak Saturday morning.  A new swell should arrive mid day Tuesday, boosting wave heights back up.  This high pressure did not quite fill in as planned, so instead of calm winds, we are seeing the NW gradient pick up in the afternoons.  Almost a summer like pattern.  That will get modified on Wednesday as we see another low pressure system approach from the north.  This morning's GFS is looking more progressive.  And I, for one, hope it is right.  Tahoe received a good amount of rain drizzle on Saturday night, saturating the snow pack.  Temps are warm up there now, but should drop by Christmas Day.  If we do not get at least a few inches on top of that, things will be pretty firm and icy over the holiday stretch.  As our next rain/snow maker looks like it will not come until 2015.  So, yeah, expect a short burst of moderate to heavy rain late on Christmas Eve (Wednesday night) that should clear out by morning.  Perhaps some showery weather on Thursday.  Wednesday will be quite a bit cooler than Tuesday and by Thursday, highs will be topping out about 60F.  Overnight lows by Thursday night should drop low 40s.

Cool air settle into place for Friday and the weekend.  But as stated above, it looks like we will actually get a period of sunny weather lasting into the new year.  The models suggest a few back door sliders impacting the region just to our east.  A little adjustment to the high pressure and these could bring some cold storms across our area.  Not likely, but don't stop paying attention.  Surf looks good through this coming week, but with that big blocking high, expect a drop in the surf by this coming weekend.  Pray for some fresh snow, especially if you plan to schuss during the holidays.  I'll update again tomorrow and get a closer look at the possible Christmas Eve storm.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Today we are experiencing our final day in an eight day long wet period.  Tomorrow high pressure does a bit more than nose in.  But, wow, what a finisher.  Almost an inch reported in Ben Lomond in the last 24 hours and .78" in Davenport.  Santa Cruz proper, to be sure, will be much less, but it has been a solidly rainy day here in town.  I meant to post up yesterday, saying the models were more progressive and it looked like we could get some more rain midday than previously expected.  But this far exceeds even those expectations.  Kirkwood has more than 5 inches on its snow stake since 5AM, and 2" is reported along the riverfront on 89, near Squaw Valley.  Up top, I imagine both those, and other resorts will be reporting nearly a foot by tomorrow morning.  Now, don't get super excited about a powder day and go charging up the roads.  Most of that will have fallen during operating hours and will have already been tracked out.  Still, gonna be a good weekend to go skiing.  Unless you like to surf as well.  Cause that is about to go off tomorrow morning.

A grove in Lighthouse Field can offer a little rain protection.

First, the weather.  Showers weaken and end this evening.  Cool air is in place.  High pressure clears out the clouds through the day tomorrow.  Some remain to ensure an awesome sunset.  Things actually warm up nicely in during the day, as a warm air mass almost immediately replaces an cool air aloft.  Low 60s, with night time lows sticking in the low 50s.  A very solid swell is arriving overnight.  Use caution when approaching near the ocean, including the walkway along West Cliff Drive.  This swell is large, with over ten feet of deep water swell at periods exceeding 18 seconds.  If you do not consider yourself an expert surfer, consider either staying on land, or checking out Capitola.  Middle Peak likely will be in excess of 15 feet, with Mavericks likely breaking near 25 feet.  Again, please be careful.  Conditions look great though, with light morning winds.  Sunday will be a little warmer, and the surf will be a little more manageable.  More of the same trend Tuesdays, with the afternoon high in the upper 60s.  A new swell will boost the size back up a bit late in the day.  Wednesday looks like a carbon copy.

Basically high pressure is in place.  A storm will try to back door us on Thursday. More on that to come.  Enjoy the great weather tomorrow.  And be careful near the ocean.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So, its raining...

Feeling pretty good about the forecast being fairly spot on, as more rain pitter patters upon my roof top.  We had a short period of showers on the west side this afternoon from 3 to 3:30 or so, then it held off for an hour.  Been raining pretty much since.  The heaviest stuff has moved east of us, but we could expect some light shower activity through midnight.  Thursday will begin in the upper 40s, with clouds, but basically a dry sky.  Some clearing mid day, as an offshore flow blows things out.  Surf could have a lot better shape on it tomorrow.  With a little bit of sun shinning, we could hit 60F.  Great day to be outside.  Sunset is looking to be a good one with the low winter sun and partly cloudy sky.  Next system up stream looking a little quicker to arrive and a bit more progressive with today's runs.  So, thinking rain should be here by the morning commute on Friday, with showers lasting through much of the day, likely moving east by sun down.  Then the good times begin.

Storm clouds piling up on the Santa Cruz Mountains.  More rain tonight and tomorrow.  Then the sun returns.

High pressure fills in Saturday, along with a large, long period swell.  Surf could hit the XXL range just up the coast.  With light to off shore breezes, the goods will be out there.  If you enjoy viewing crazy stunts, might want to head up to Half Moon Bay, catch a session at Mavs and crab lunch at the brewery.  Whatever you choose to do, you might want to plan on being outside.  It will be quite nice.  And it only gets better.  Sunshine and upper 60s by Christmas Eve.  More later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moderate winds in front of a one, two jab.

Feel the breeze?  That is the next round of rain moving into the region.  You can almost feel it in the air.  Heavy rain will be here shortly.  Due to the speed of this thing, we may only get a bit more than an inch from this thing.  It could possibly provide a foot of snow for the Sierra.  North Lake locations did pretty well last night.  Crest south of the lake got 6-10 inches.  Much better than expected, with the bulk of these systems moving north to south with little spill over.  Anyway, get ready for some more serious rain tonight.  ANd it remains chilly, with the high for Wednesday in the mid 50s.  Be ready for a wet morning commute, but rain should shift to showers by 9AM.  This thing looks like it could have another burst or moderate rain in the afternoon, depending how it wraps, so after a fair weather afternoon and evening, we might see some showers very early Thursday morning.  Otherwise, Thursday should be fair.  And Friday's system late, and a bit north, so yeah, Friday could turn out fairly decently.  Rain should come later in the evening if it does at all.

Oh, and these guys.  Lighthouse Field, Santa Cruz.

So basically, we are looking at heavy rain tonight, showers Wednesday early, maybe some more showers before sunrise Thursday, with the day being fair.  Perhaps some starts Thursday night, and a bit cooler.  Clouds fill in for Friday, but rain likely to hold off until later.  Perhaps a shower or two to start the day Saturday, with cloud quickly clearing.  The weekend looks very nice indeed.  High pressure through Christmas Eve, or so it seems.  More later.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A closer look at the week.

A decent squall moved through this morning.  Already a half inch or more across the county, with almost a full inch in Ben Lomond a of 9AM.  We are in a bit of a shadow right now, but there are still some heavy bands just off shore and moving toward us from the south west.  I'd expect periods of strong rain through the day, similiar to this morning.  Our yard began to pool in the usual areas quickly this morning, suggesting that the ground is quite saturated.  And we have some excellent drainage.  So, beware of possible flash flooding today, as the water has little place to go right now.  Hope some of you have cisterns still filling up.  We could use some of this water in retention.  Anyway, as we move through the day, the periods of rain should lessen in their intensity and length.  We will transition from rain to showers.  Tonight will be cool, but not cold.  Actually, just a few degrees cooler than the day.  Tuesday could be a good day to get outside if you feel you need to stretch your legs.  You will need some sort of boot, preferably a stomper, and some rain gear.  But the showers should have breaks, especially by mid day.  Not much sun, and about as warm as today.

If you've got the gear, give it a go Tuesday.  Thursday we might see a day like this with breaking sun.  Lighthouse Field.

Later Tuesday, another wave will begin to approach.  This one is a bit cooler.  Models keep jumping around on its water content and whether it holds together and pushes west, or splits, wit the core headed south.  Either way, we should see some rain.  Could be a quite, heavy burst if the thing holds together, with clearing by late Wednesday, or slow, longer and more showery if it splits, with rain lingering overnight into Thursday morning.  Let's look at that again tomorrow.  Regardless, a ridge begins to nose in on Thursday.  A cold storm tries to approach from the north on Friday, but it is questionable if it will dig enough south to bring us any precipitation.  If it does, it will pack a decent amount of water.  Nothing like the last five days, but it kind of looks like a wet or not question.  Anyway, it will bring us a punch of cold air regardless.  Likely the coldest air of the season.  We might not feel it much down here on the coastal plain, with temps warming back up to 60 for the weekend once the sun fully comes out, but inland and at elevation will see a drop in averages.  Looks like a high pressure ridge will fill in and bring sun, and possibly warming temps till about Christmas Eve.

Generally speaking a wet start to the week, with some solid clearing on Thursday.  More rain possible late Friday and Saturday morning.  High pressure beyond that.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cooler air and five more inches.

Things are off to a good start.  The most recent drought monitor map for the state now has Marin County down graded from Exceptional to merely Extreme drought.  And that was before we saw another 3-5 inches of rain fall last Thursday.  So, yeah, can't wait to see the next release.  And we could have up to five more inches of rain fall along the central coast this week.

Anyone need a warm up?  Short Sands Beach, York Maine.  August.

I've been on the road a bit, and in the mountains and have not spent a lot of timing looking over models, but here is a quick update.  First, more solid swell is coming in overnight, along with strong south winds and more rain.  While these winds are going to be a lot lighter than last Thursday morning, the ground is quite a bit wetter.  We may see some power outages and downed trees overnight.  Rain again moves from north to south, starting later this evening in Marin.  There is already some rain off the coast on the radar.  We should see some moderate to heavy showers early in the morning hours and through mid day on Monday.  Over an inch is expected, with the bullseye near San Francisco with over 2.5 inches.  So yeah, a good amount of rain on Monday.  And chilly, with a high in the mid 50s.  Showery weather continues overnight with a low in the upper 40s.

Tuesday will be mellower, but we are still looking at rain showers during the day.  We could see some more breaks in the activity, basically netting less than a half inch of rain, with the core of the system moving south of Point Conception.  Similiar day and night time temps to Monday.  And then a second wave moves through Wednesday, boosting us back up to an inch plus of rain, but this time the bullseye being south of us near SLO.  Still plenty of water for the coast.  Anyway, when that thing starts to clear out Wednesday night, we will see another round of cold air moving through, dropping the overnight lows into the low 40s.  Thursday could be fair, with possibly another rain maker late Friday.  And right now it looks like we could be in for a good weekend, and even possibly a few days next week with high pressure.  More later.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Three to Six; Tahoe snow a bust.

Rain event was a swifter mover than expected, but still dropped from three to six inches across the county.  The storm started with a very heavy band of rain, and then continued with moderate to heavy rain all day.  Around 9PM we saw rain fall rates again increase, and things started to clear around midnight.  We may see some showery weather today, but the bulk of the system is now to our southeast.  Three to Six inches.  Holy geez.  And while there is still a chance for some of this system to spill over the crest and into the Tahoe Basin, most resorts are only reporting a few inches.  Kirkwood claims new inches at the base with more up top, and the Sugarbowl cam suggest they got about a foot at their base.  Both those resorts are west of the Sierra Crest, and that made all the difference.  But let's look at our weather for today.

We will enjoy some blooms this year.  Thank you rain.

Cooler air today.  Highs in the upper 50s.  Continued thick cloud cover, with perhaps some breaks of blue.  Chance of sporadic showers.  Actually, looking at the radar, I see some showers to our west, so it seems likely we will see some of that.  Continued clouds tonight keep us from getting too chilly, but it will drop into the low 40s.  Saturday is the winner, with some sun, and slightly warmer temps due to that.  Still, we will barely scratch into the 60s.  And that clearing sky will allow radiational cooling, so day break on Sunday could be quite chilly, but not dropping below 40F here in town.  With more rain likely on the the way, Sunday is still up in the air.  GFS this morning suggest the next round of rain will hold off until after sunset on Sunday, so we could be in for a nice day.

This next storm looks a little less wet, and a little bit colder.  I likely won't get another post up until Monday.  The boy and I are headed to the snow for a little sledding and a little sliding.  As it looks now, rain moves in late Sunday evening and lasts through the very early morning hours on Wednesday.  It will be cool, with temps not getting out of the 50s.  Cloudy on Wednesday, with improving conditions Thursday.  Another system, even colder, sweeps out of the north late next Friday.  Yup, we are in a rainy period.  More next week.  For now, get outside and enjoy the puddles.  Some showers today (in fact, they just started back up) with fair weather for the weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Knocking on the door...

I'm sure you can hear the winds.  They are not too strong yet, but they are beginning to whip up a fury.  They will get stronger.  The wharf is recording 24 knot winds from the south.  The Monterey buoy is 35 knots.  And a farm, just north of Davenport, along Scotts Creek is recording 37.  That there is some serious wind.  The strongest gusts I see this morning are at the Half Moon Bay buoy, recording gusts to 45 knots.  Looking at the radar, rain is falling in SF, with a heavy band in Marin.  Just about 40 miles off shore there is a band of orange and red.  Red indicates tornados.  While I don't think there are actually tornados out there, I do suspect very low pressure, very strong winds and very heavy rain.  Get ready.  It should all be here in the next few hours.  Have fun.

I'll try to get another update later today when I get an idea of when things should lighten, and when things should break.  Hey, maybe you can go for a walk along West Cliff Friday evening if we get lucky.  And don't forget to get out and enjoy this coming weekend.  If nothing else, the water falls are going in full swing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Armageddonz!!!!! EXTREME!!!!

I know, right?  So, we have a significant storm on our doorsteps.  It looks like it might already be raining in Fort Bragg on the NorCal coast.  Rain will spread south through the North Bay tonight, hitting SF just around the morning commute, and into the South Bay by mid day.  The heaviest band of rain will fill in closely behind the initial rain.  So, this ain't nor sporadic shower type of event.  Once it starts, it will be going.  And strong south winds are to accompany the rain.  So, yeah, you might want to plan on being inside some where cozy.  Anyway, sure, this storm looks solid.  But all the hype out there about this one is a bit over rated in my estimate.  It may surpass any of the storms we saw in the fall of 2012, but certainly not wetter than March 2011.  Look, the weather outlets are not wrong.  It will rain quite a bit.  But they are acting like the news outlets, sensationalizing things to get a good number of people to look.  But I'm gonna go one bigger and call for armageddon.  Or maybe just say, sure be prepared, but try not to stay up late worrying about it.  It is just a rain storm.

Bridge up.  Perkins Cove, Maine.  Hope to have some local shots soon, for those of you bored of Maine.

SF, Berkeley and Oakland schools have already called for the day off tomorrow.  Sure gonna be a lot of parents in the cities tonight figuring out day care plans or calling off from work.  That said, commutes in/out of the cities might be a bit lighter than usual.  I won't talk much about the drive, cause I have done that already.  Except, just try to be courteous.  And not ruin someone's day, weekend, month or life.  More things to watch out for.  Power outages, especially in the hills where the wind gusts could exceed 70 mph.  Know where your flash lights or head lamps are.  Keep one near the bed.  Stay away from downed lines and call PGE.  Watch for flash floods in low lying areas, especially as we near night fall on Thursday.  Expect, and plan for a ton of wind.  And as much as I love putting on some rain gear, and going outside to enjoy the outdoors in the midst of the rain,  we plan to spend the worst of it inside.  So should you.  Not saying we won't be out and about tomorrow running errands.  Hell, it might be the best time to do so.  With all the hype, even local traffic might be down.  Anyway, it won't be a bad night for meatloaf.

Rain continues strong overnight on Thursday, with the heaviest rain for SC likely from 10PM until 4AM Friday.  Rain tapers significantly in the afternoon hours, and high pressure noses in for the weekend.  If you did not notice it, cooler air has already begun to move in, and this storm has a small packet of cold air.  High temps on Saturday will barely reach the 60s, and with the clearing sky, overnight lows could dip into the low 40s, and upper 30s for some mountain valleys.  Sunday looks similar, with rain likely moving back in for Monday and Tuesday.  This system is not as wet looking, but being on the heals of super saturating the soil, we should plan for more armegeddonz.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hype and Hysteria

So, yeah.  I read some where that this storm coming for Thurs/Fri is the biggest in 5 years.  While I might go out on a limb and say it is the biggest in 3 1/2 years, there is now way this one storm is bigger than March of 2011.  But it will be a solid rain maker.  And my fingers are crossed that it pushes over the crest and delivers the much needed snow to the Sierra. Here are a few things to watch out for over the next few days.

Slick Roads:  Californians in general, forget how to drive in the rain, after a summer season of dry weather.  Some slow down not at all, and others slow down way too much.  And that causes enough trouble.  Mix in two to three inches of rain in a twelve hour period, and you start getting puddles, pools and flooding roadways.  Watch out for the hydroplane.  Watch out for others that hydroplane.  Give a lot of space, slow down a bit, double check before switching lanes, and if you have not already done so this season, get some new wind shield wipers.  Might want to check your tires as well.  And never try to cross a flooded roadway that has water moving swiftly across it.  There could be sink holes, or you can get picked up by the current.  Be careful out there.  Things should be pretty damn gnarly by Thursday afternoon.

Ocean Dangers:  We have a solid swell filling in right now, with a solid storm swell to arrive later today just in front of the storm.  Lots of people enjoy surfing in big waves.  Just know your limits.  There was a rescue near the Lighthouse during the last stormy period.  If you prefer to watch the surf, stay well away from the water's edge.  Behind a fence is even better.  Every year people get swept off the rocks in Central California.  Some never are recovered.  With the heavy rain, mudstone will be slick to boot.  And if you are headed into the water, plan on a bacteria infection.  Expect all waterways to flush out with this system.

Saturated Soils:  The last group of storms have done a good job at saturating the soil.  Most of this new rain will flow into creeks, streams, and rivers.  Many will breach their banks at times, so be prepared for some flash flooding.  And with the wet soils, we see a greater chance of trees falling.  Especially with the strong winds this storm will be packing.  Plan to lose power at some point over the next few days. especially if you live in the hills.

More later.  Gotta run

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This work week begins mellow and ends dramatic

The southern edge of a storm system heading toward Vancouver will drape across the region just to our north to start the week.  Increasing clouds, and a slight chance of afternoon showers.  The models have really pulled back on our moisture, and at this point, we might even avoid any rain at all.  Sure did not look like that was going to be the case today.  But that was mostly a fog bank in town.  Up the coast near Ano Nuevo, it was gorgeous out.  In fact, if you have not already done so, I suggest you visit Rancho Siempre Verde.  They have some trees to choose from, but even better, the views are great, you can make your own wreath and they have some awesome tree swings.  And, with the past week's rain, it was plenty muddy.  ANyway, back to the weather.  Monday we see a chance of light showers, greatest in the afternoon.  Chance are, it will all stay north of the Golden Gate.  Tuesday we will see high pressure nose in, and it could actually get pretty damn nice out.  A new moderate sized long period swell will be in the water, and the winds will be kind of blowing offshore.  Or at least light.  We should see highs in the upper 60s.  You might even find a sunny piece of asphalt that registers 70F.  Pretty much the same for the first part of Wednesday.  Then things take a major turn.

The Nubble Light.  Maine is a bit cooler than we are right now.  

The exact where, and when and how to are still up in the air.  Fine tuning will happen over the next few days.  Still, a major storm system is headed our way.  While the last period of rain had some heavy rain at times, it was mostly the duration that made it so wet.  This looks like it will move through in 50 hours or so, but in that time, we are expecting from two inches in the cities, with up to eight inches in the coastal mountains.  All in just a bit more than two day's time.  Clouds and stiff south winds will build through the afternoon on Wednesday.  Rain will move south through North Bay in the evening, reaching SF before day break, and Santa Cruz in the early morning hours.  ANd when it starts, it is going to start with a dump.  Thursday afternoon and evening currently looks like the brunt of it.  Mind your afternoon commute.  With this much water, falling this fast, there is sure to be flooding and pooling.  There will be hydro-planing.  There will be accidents.  Friday morning will still be gnarly, but the heaviest rain will be well south of us.  Hello SoCal, this is winter.  By late morning Friday, things will begin to lighten up, but still expect heavy showers to moderate rain into the evening.  Then bam, high pressure explodes over us for the weekend.  Big time.

The noon hour GFS has the storm window opening back up as early as next Monday afternoon.  Previous runs suggested a period of high pressure.  We watch and see which way the waffle bakes.  In the meantime, get your outside duties done early in the week, and make rainy day plans for Thursday.  If you've got the gear, and like the show, and are willing to not get too close, the waves should be getting onto the huge size by Wednesday, and with Thursday's storm, there will be plenty of massive crashing waves to watch.  Oh, that reminds me, low lying areas near the ocean will likely flood with the high tide on Thursday.  And power lines are likely to go down.  And trees.  So yeah, be prepared.  More to come.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A few sprinkles, a fair weekend, then more rain on the way.

This morning is grey, but fair.  We will likely see a good quarter inch of rain starting this afternoon or evening.  Maybe we we just get it all overnight.  Maybe it will linger through the morning hours on Saturday.  But, basically, things will be clearing up for the weekend.  Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.  The streams are flowing, and that means that the waterfalls are going.  Pogonip comes to mind for easy access.  Big Basin if you want to get out and see the real stuff.  Dress warm.  Like wool socks, a good sweater, and a flannel.  A pair of Wellies come to mind.  Get it while it last.  Another bought of showers is due to pass through Monday morning.  Nothing like the last few days, but showers none the less.  By Monday evening, high pressure is trying to fill back in.

Tuesday could be real nice.  Nicest day we have seen in a while.  Sunshine, warmth, an off shore breeze.  A new solid swell should be filled in by then.  Starting to look like a real nice day to get out in the water.  We should still be in the nice weather for Wednesday, but by Thursday we could be in for more heavy rain.

More update this afternoon.  Gotta run.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snow and Drought Report.

Yeah, I'll get to that.  First, a short forecast update for the next few days.  Actually, first, a hind cast.  About a third of an inch fell in Soquel and two and two thirds of an inch fell in Ben Lomand.  I measured just under an inch on our south slope on the west side.  And while the Wednesday was less wet than Tuuesday, it sure won the blustery award.  Holy wind storm batman.  The most excitin part of the day was when my son and I were leaving his preschool in a semi epic squall of high wind and very heavy rain, he turned to me and yelled over the blustering winds, "Is this winter?"  Yes, why, yes it is.  And it sure feels good.  Anyway, today will be way mellower.  Far lighter winds, and only a slight chance of some light showers during the day.  We may even see a few more breaks in the clouds.  In fact, the clouds are hanging high, and as I type, I can see the sunrise starting over in the east.  I fully expect a few rainbows, and awesome sunset, and possibly even a unicorn sighting.

Black Eyed Susans.  

Another wave of storms will come from the W-NW for Friday, with an increasing chance of showers through the day.  Mild again, with a high in the low to mid 60s.  By Saturday morning, we should see drying and breaking clouds.  Could be a nice mild day.  The next system up stream is due to arrive later in the evening Sunday.  So we have a nice dry weekend on tap.  Best to get out there and enjoy the puddles.  The water falls should be in great shape too.  And the hillsides are turning green again.  Good stuff.  Monday is currently looking like it will bring moderate showers, with a drying out for Tuesday.  By Thursday, we could be looking at another wet storm.  And this one looks cold.  More on that later.

So, yeah, that drought.  As of December 2nd, we are still Exceptional across most of the state.  The extreme NW 1% of the state is now at D0, or Abnormally Dry.  That is the lowest level of drought.  So, yeah, we are still in a pretty bad drought.  Now, we have received quite a bit of rain since this report, but not nearly enough to wrap this thing up.  Still, we are moving in the right direction.  What is interesting to me is that up here in the Bay Area we reduced our water usage about 15% from last year to this year, while those in SoCal only reduced their use 1%.  So, yeah, if you have friends or family down south, give them a good scolding.  They are taking our water to keep their lawns green.  Does that make me angry.  You betcha!  Keep up the good work and keep your usage low.

As for the snow, the report is a bit grim.  All this rain, and just a little snow.  The north side of the lake faired better as a pool of cold air allowed greater snow accumulation and much lower snow levels.  The upper portions of Squaw, Northstar and Mt Rose received close to three feet of snow.  Kirkwood got mostly rain due to an inversion.  Mostly.  They also got a good dose of snow, especially on the upper mountain, but not really enough to get things opened up.  We will need to take another look after Friday's system.   Hopefully it will be cold enough to fill in the base.  More on this soon as well.

Get out and enjoy the day.  Possibly some showery periods.  Friday looks wetter.  The weekend will be dry, with some clouds.  More rain to start off next week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another angry inch, Flood Advisory!

Lots of rain fell overnight, and lots more is expected today.  What an excellent rain maker.  Wet and blustery is the forecast for today.  And the best news yet is that SoCal is getting hammered today, giving the state wide spread rain.  Several inches of more rain is expected from Santa Barbara through the LA Basin.  Locally, we are looking at accumulating a solid inch today.  With the inch that fell in town yesterday and the four inches that fell in the mountains, the NWS has posted a flood warning for the county.  The San Lorenzo is flowing, as is every creek and drainage around.  Pooling has started in the usual areas.  So use caution, and drive intelligently.  Leave early, give space, and basically don't drive like a selfish ass.  Lives could depend on it.  And even in non fatal crashes, no one wants to spend an hour or more on the side of the road, filling out police reports, during a rain storm.  Okay, pulpit put away.  Now the weather.

A working lobster harbor, Perkins Cove, Maine.

Of course is it now old news that this rain storm is for real.  Best run of rain since 2012.  Yes, it is awesome, but some of you may start to wonder when we will next see the sun.  So here is the low down.  Last night, around 5PM the clouds parted and I was looking at stars by 6PM.  Clouds filled back in by 8PM and the rain started in the early morning hours.  Why do I mention this?  Because the breaks of sun might be of a similiar nature.  The moderate to heavy rains should abate today, and by this evening, we should be moving into a more showery period.  Temps should remain mild with highs in the mid 60s.  Thursday should remain showery in the morning hours, but it will start to become more sporadic as the day continues.  I would not be surprised if we are seeing patches of blue and rainbows by sunset.  Heck, it could be spectacular out.  But we are not out of the rain maker just yet, as light rain showers could occur through the early morning hours of Saturday.  That does not mean that Friday is necessarily a rainy day.  At least plan for some showers and possibly some sun, at some in between.  When all is said and done, we will have added up nearly six inches of rain in the county.  More in the mountains.  More than all of the 13/14 winter.  Yipeee!

The weekend is looking nice as high pressure makes an attempt to move in.  We are not expecting a huge pumping bubble of awesomeness, so the sky will remain a mix of blue and clouds, and temps remain in the low to mid 60s.  With more open sky, overnight temps will shift back down into the mid to upper 40s.  But no rain is expected.  So, the puddle stomping will be all time, as will be the sunrise and sunset.  Take advantage, as we are already looking at the next storm up stream possibly impacting the region by mid next week.  Hell, the 6AM GFS has more rain as early as next Monday.  So don't spend your weekend inside watching football on the telly.  There is a great outdoors that needs to be enjoyed.

I'll update on Tahoe snow when I get online tomorrow.  Things are improving, but are far from epic.

Monday, December 1, 2014

So, it is complicated.

Sun is out there now, but there was a decent shower this morning.  Looks like the rest of the day will be clear and cool.  Expect a high in the mid 60s.  That sun will feel nice.  A bit of an east wind this morning will turn southerly late in the day and into the evening.  Another round of storms will begin to impact us in the early morning hours of Tuesday.  This next storm will be coming in from the west-southwest, so it will drive warm air in front of it, hence today's mid 60s.  And while not as cold as the last two storms, it will bring back in cooler air.  And this one is packing a whole lot more water.  Heavy rain will fill in from the south.  It looks like Big Sur will get the brunt of the first round of this one, but expect some heavy rain here in town tomorrow.  And especially so on the south slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Highs on Tuesday in the low 60s.  For you commuters out there, I'd plan on rain for both drives.  You might luck out and get rolling before the rain starts to fall in the morning, or, you might luck out and only need to drive through showery weather on the way home.  But it might be smart to plan for downpours both ways, leave early, slow down, and be safe.

Sunrise, Wells Harbor, Maine.  

After the first wave of heavy rain, things will lighten up.  Cloud cover will keep us in the 50s overnight.  Showers continue into Wednesday, with temps in the low to mid 50s.    That much we pretty much know.  Pretty much.  After that, the storm begins to move through, but will spin and drag moisture across us.  While there will be some clearing on Thursday, yup, showers are likely to continue, at least through the morning.  And another storm is lining up to brush us from the north on Friday.  All that is still questionable, but it does look likely that high pressure will return for next weekend.  But don't hold your breath, more rain makers try to break through as early as next Tuesday.  Fingers crossed for some dent to the drought this December.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A break, and then some more rain.

Gotta be real quick tonight.  Need some sleep.  Things cleared out nicely this afternoon in Monterey, and at least the rain held off late in the day in Santa Cruz.  Tomorrow looks to be fair in town Monday, with rain coming back in midday Tuesday.  I'll get a better update during the day tomorrow, but wanted to let you know to get out and stomp some puddles on Monday.  Should be nice out there.  Not too warm, low 60s, but it will feel nice in the sun if it pokes through.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Okay, get ready to rumble.

Slight fine tuning to the forecast today.  Gonna go quick.  Rain is already moving down the coast and inland to our north.  Hard to believe, cause it is just gorgeous out there right now.  Should show up here in town mid day tomorrow.  It will be quite heavy just north of here.  Rain will likely be of a showery nature until the system axis shifts more N-S on Sunday, when we will see some significant rain.  Expect rain to continue for the Monday morning commute, but we are now expecting a break in the action later in the day Monday.  Could be some good stomping weather for the sunset.  But that is not all.  The core of the system will begin to move onshore later Monday night, with heavier rain beginning to impact the region through Wednesday.  Showery to clearing weather for Thursday.  So yeah, a wet run over the next five or so days.  I'll try to get a look at the weather next week as we move through the weekend.

Perkins Cove, Maine.  Boats and water.

In short, expect wet weather the next two days.  I'm expecting lighter showery weather for Saturday morning,  You might even be able to get a run in before the rain starts.  Anyway, the heavy rain line is looking to be just to our north, as in like near Pescadero.  So, yeah, a slight shift, and it will rain hard here.  Anyway, when it does come, it will fill in and it will get really wet.  Maybe we could see a break late Sunday, but much more likely it will not break until Monday.  More later.

Oh, and the surf was quite excellent today.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Models drastically diverge as we approach rain event and cook turkey.

Seriously, guys, can't we just come to an agreement.  Gonna be a short post today with just some of the vitals.  Get outside and enjoy today and tomorrow.  Upper 60s today and lower 60s tomorrow.  Rain will approach from the north on Friday night.  Exactly what happens then is hard to tell.  The global models which were all basically in agreement just 36 hours ago, now have all types of different scenarios in places for the next week starting on Saturday.  I won't bother going into details here, but the only thing that is for sure is we will see some rain over the weekend.  Go ahead and read my past two posts for some idea on what that might look like.

More water please.

As of now, it does look like the may low will remain off the coast until at least Tuesday, so we might see lighter showers, or even some sun late Sunday into Monday before another round of storms.  I'll keep watching and report more later.  Got to go baste some bird now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hell or High Water.

Yeah, folks, time to pay attention.  Slight adjustments in forecast.  BTW, today was pretty damn nice out, eh?  A bit cooler tomorrow for the turkey, but otherwise not real significant change.  Maybe an uptick in the swell late.  Friday will be a bit cooler again, getting us down to the low 60s for a mid day high.  Still plenty of sunshine and light wind as the storm lines up to our north.  By Saturday we should see the rain fill in down here in Santa Cruz.  Heaviest rain falling over night and into early Sunday morning.  Storm now is forecast to continue stalled offshore, maybe even shifting south a bit, before progressing on shore late Monday into Tuesday.  We should see some break in between rain systems.  Rain could persist into Wednesday.  Still a bunch up in the air for the part next week.

Water.  More is on its way.

As you prep for your feast keep in mind a few things.  We could see some good accumulating rain fall this weekend.  It may be here before sunrise on Saturday.  It will be heavy when it does.  All in all, we could be looking at four inches or more here in town, with several more in the local hills.  Please be prepared.  If this comes in as forecast, this will be the biggest system in two years.  Nothing crazy, but not something we have had to deal with in a while.  Expect runoff, some small flooding and drainage issues.  Have you rain coat and wellies on standby.  And also, if you are commuting on Monday, check back on the forecast before you hit the road.  The early part of next week you likely will need to plan for some extra time on the road.

I'll be keeping an eye on the approaching systems as I roast a bird, feast on a meal and consume leftovers the next few days.  Check back here for updates.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Well, when I got in my car north of Davenport, about 200 yards from the water, at 11AM, the thermometer read a nice 70F.  For reals.  While it was far from hot yesterday, it was quite the pleasant day.  And today should not disappoint with the high just a few degrees warmer.  The breeze is off shore, strongest in the morning.  Already the air is warming up nicely.  A great day to be outside.  Hell, it will be a great few days to be outside.  Can you say, "Happy Thanksgiving!"?  Thursday will not be quite as warm as the next two, but I'd put a dollar bet on the fact that we top 70F in the sunny spots downtown.  Thankfully, it is cooling off nicely just before sunset, so when you decide to sit down to gravy smothered tubars, cream soaked stale bread and a spiced spiked cider, it will feel the right temperature out.  Mornings are still dipping down into the 40s.  46F by my car thermometer at about 6:20 this morning.

Wildflowers.  These are east coast, but the west coast could be going into natural bloom.

So, what happens next.  First, I am confident we will see some rain late Sunday and early Monday.  For the most part, I am sticking with my thoughts the other day, with rain filling in late Saturday and lasting through Tuesday.  The storm is looking well and cool, with warm air out in front.  This mornings model run keeps the storm just to our north Friday, through the day Saturday.  When I say "just", I mean just.  Marin could measure a inch by later Saturday, while we might just have clouds threatening.  At the least, Friday will feel cooler, with much less sun.  But the dip will be close to 10F cooler than Wednesday, so it could feel down right chilly.  Look for a high in the low 60s Friday.  Saturday will barely push into the low 60s.  Chances of rain increase through the day, as the axis of the storm begins to turn more N-S by Sunday.  This will begin to allow the colder air to drive south.

On Saturday, given the current model runs, we will be most likely dry, with a chance of a sporadic light shower or two.  If the core of the system moves 100 miles south, we will see heavy rain like Marin is currently forecast.  When the storm shifts N-S, and the rain fills in on Sunday, it will be continuous, and moderate to strong.  The light wind we are going to see all week, will start flowing light out of the SE Saturday, and then build strong out of the SW on Sunday.  The ocean will be stormy, unless you head to Monterey.  Heaviest rain will still be to our north Sunday, but by Monday, the storm will push ashore, and a piece will break off and move south.  This would be great for us, sending copious liquid to Tahoe and SoCal, leaving us only with moderate rain.  Don't get me wrong, Monday will be wet.  And Cold.  We might hang in the upper 50s.  But not too wet.  I mean, our ground can only soak in so much at a time.  Too much rain, and ours juts runs to the sea.  Better get that water deeper into the state.  Better yet to store it as two to four feet of snow, and save it for spring.  Better yet, get enough so the ski resorts can start opening terrain for the holiday season.  Give our water and economy a boost at the same time.  Killer.

By Tuesday the bulk of the system will be well east.  Showers continue across the state, strongest along the Sierra Crest.  Cold air in place at elevation.  Cool air down here.  High pressure building in from the west, will likely drive a northwest flow on Tuesday.  And back to the grind of sun, warming, and off shore flow.  It is tough living in central California.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Heat Wave, Turkey Style.

Well, those weather systems brought a decent dose of rain to us locally, and Saturday's actually penetrated deep into the state.  Alas, warm air kept the snow from falling, except along the highest peaks.  Ski season is still on hold, other than a few manmade runs at Heavenly and Northstar.  If you are planning a Thanksgiving ski adventure, those might be your best options.  But, really, why would you want to be anywhere except Santa Cruz for this coming week.  Especially early, things are going to be pretty damn nice.  High pressure is filling in strong after yesterday's rain, and it is setting up shop over the next few days.  A clear nighttime sky will allow you to see that crescent moon just at night, and it will allow the release of a lot of heat making for a damn crisp morning.  Monday will start off in the mid 40s, warming up around 9AM, with an early afternoon of about 70F in town.  A touch cooler near the ocean.  Tuesday looks even better with temps across town climbing squarely into the 70s.  We should maintain low 70F highs through Thanksgiving.  By Friday, the temperature begins to drop as a low pressure system begins to take residence just offshore.

Nubble Light, again, cause this place rocks.

My thinking today is we will not see any rain until at least Saturday, and light at that.  The system will begin to slowly move ashore on Sunday, pushing heavy rain into the region by late in the day.   By Monday, all of central California will be being effected, with SoCal getting a good dose by Tuesday.  Snow for the Sierra.  Now, yesterday, this system was slated to be hitting us hard by Friday, so we could see a chance for that.  And who knows, maybe it will all head way north like most of what we have seen this season so far.  Still a good five days out from the onset, and a week plus from the core, so a lot can, and will, change.  If you are planning on getting to the mountains, the current forecast keeps things dry until Sunday, but when things do  start, it looks warm.  Again, different scenario than yesterday's models that suggested a colder start.

In short, some fine nice weather for at least the next four days.  Inclement weather again looking likely, but timing still up in the air.  Rain possible as early as Friday, but likely holding off until later on Saturday.  Keep tuned.

Friday, November 21, 2014

One more to come, then some increasingly fine weather through Turkey Day.

Shifting, shifting.  That rain stuck around for a while yesterday afternoon, boosting up some more admirable totals.  Almost half an inch down by Watsonville, and more than 3/4th up in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  The Sierra Crest was dusted in the south, with close to a foot north of Lake Tahoe.  Maybe we are starting to make the smallest of dents.  Starting.  And Smallest.  Anyway, that sun is poking out there today.  Plenty of clouds up around the hills, and a fog on the water, but a fair amount of blue none the less.  The next system upstream has already moved ashore, with light rain as far south as Redway along the coast.  Rain will filter south into the North Bay overnight, spreading south and east in the morning.  In Santa Cruz today things are pretty nice.  Warm in front of this next storm, which by the way, is a warmer storm than the last.  Clouds will begin developing late.  I expect a fairly nice sunset this evening, with just the right amount of clouds, and that late fall light.  Clouds fill in over night, keeping us well within the 50s.  Rain likely will develop around sunrise.  Hard to tell.  Just depends on how far south the core of this things pushes.  Somewhere will have a nice dose of heavy rain.  Showers will develop late morning through early afternoon.  The sky should clear out for night fall, making for another awesome sunset.  You could think of this as a romantic weekend.

Saturday afternoon could have some stiff northwest winds as the high pressure behind this system fills in.  Sunday morning will be one of the chillier mornings of the season yet.  Not quite cold, but it could be nice and crisp.  It is just this next storm is not bringing a cold airmass with it.  Then, under that high pressure, things will begin to warm up, with off shores developing through the week.  And some fun sized swell will fill in to start off Sunday and the workweek right.  Could be golden hour kind of week, and gorgeous weather for the holiday.  GFS still on track for a decent storm to show up soon after you have your turkey sandwich on Friday.  But the way things have been terribly inaccurate with the model lately, don't hold your breath.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On again, off again.

Do you remember that (often annoying) couple from high school who first started dating as Freshmen, and broke up and got together a dozen or so times before heading to prom together?  Usually didn't work out to well in the long run.  Well, that is kind of how the models have felt recently.  It want to yell, "just make up your mind!  Choose something!"  Of course, I don't, mostly because yelling at your computer is considered uncouth.  Today's GFS lacks any real penetration into the Sierra this weekend, dropping potential snow totals to less than a foot.  Yet, this morning, I am beginning to wonder if it is not the models, but the actual weather that can not make up its mind.  Yesterday at noon thirty, it looked like the storm was going to easily move over the Sierra, dropping a few inches or more of snow.  Instead, it just hung out on top of us, keeping the drizzle going until dark.  Good for our dry ground, but not so good for the state.  Most of our water runs to the ocean.

This morning's 5 day precip map still indicates a total of almost a half inch here between the next two systems.  Almost an inch in Tahoe.  A bit more to the north.  Over 5 inches in the northwest corner of the state, with almost seven inches around Mt. Rainier, and another 6.5" peak near Mt. Shuksan (Mt. Baker, ene of Seattle).  Maybe a few hundredths of an inch throughout SCal.  Yeah, not really looking like a El Nino spread.  We still have that Jet Stream not dug enough south to bring us the heavy rains we so very much need.

We still look on track for afternoon showers today, drying out by Friday morning.  The airmass remains cool, with our high today just about 60F.  Some warmer air could filter in on Friday ahead of the next system.  Again, each run of the models move these systems further and further north, decreasing our expected rainfall.  The 12h run today actually suggest we see nothing from the third system.  I would not plan on that.  Timing would likely be rain starting just before sunrise on Saturday, with showers lingering through the morning.  Likely just some clouds by afternoon.  Mid 60s through the day, with some stars overnight.  And with cool air moving in behind the storm, we could drop down into the mid 40s.  Depending on cloud cover, and the air mass, some of the mountain valleys in the Santa Cruz Mountains could see a drop into the 30s for Sunday morning.  Stoke that stove or clean out your heating box and ducts.  If you have not turned them on yet this season, you will likely do so this weekend.  With increasing sunshine, Sunday could warm up nicely into the mid to upper 60s.

Still looks like a nice high pressure fills in for the start of next week.  Not to mention a developing swell on Sunday.  With morning offshores, and sunshine, it could be a real fun time to get in the ocean.  And if you are surfing in town, be aware that any run off we are getting right now, likely contains 10 months of crap and bacteria in it.  Try not to be down stream.  Unless you like hepatitis.  Okay, maybe that is hyperbole, but just beware.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Well, snap, it is looking all European.

First, looks like I was off on timing.  I heard some heavy pitter patter dropping hard around 4AM.  It subsided, and there was good light at the sunrise.  Anomaly I thought.  Then on the drive to school at 8:30 thins morning, it began to rain.  Not a heavy rain, but a steady rain.  Felt nice.  And I was so sure that the rain would hold off until later, I brought not one piece of protective gear.  And while it rained on us for the walk to and from the classroom, it was not enough to do much more than dampen us.  Locally (as of 1PM), Ben Lomond is reporting 4/10th of an inch.  Bates Creek, north of Soquel 4/100th of an inch.  So a ten fold difference.  Watsonville just at 1/100th.  Most places not actually reporting.  Felt like a tenth or so here on the west side.  I need to buy a real gauge and keep it ready.  Anyway, to our north a decent rain fell.  Mt St. Helena reporting 3/4ths of an inch, Pt Reyes St. 2/3rds, Napa 2/10ths, a tenth in SF.  Pretty decent numbers actually.  Currently the bulk of the storm is moving east, which is great news for water collection and the ski resorts.  It now looks like a ecent chance for a few inches or more over the crest.  I don't see much more coming ashore this afternoon, so mostly light drizzle or less this afternoon.  Ultimately, this looked more like the Euro output than the GFS.  Definately the case for moisture output, and how far inland it would get.  Today, the 12h GFS is looking a little more in like with the Euro, bringing in system number 2 a little wetter, with system 3 drier.

Even last year had some snow, despite its leanness.  Hoping to get some white on the mountains tonight.

Short term, we will have mostly a heavy, grey sky for the next 24 hours.  After than, more rain begins to fall from it.  This next system even brings in some cooler air, with the high Thursday in the low 60s, and overnight temps dropping into the 40s.  The heaviest rainfall should be in the afternoon hours Thursday, but could persist through the evening.  Maybe a half inch locally. We should dry out a little bit on Friday, but I would not expect much of the cloud cover to part.  We might have enough breaks to give us a stellar sunset Friday evening.  Fingers crossed.  More rain will come from the north on Saturday, likely in the afternoon.  Todays model run has really backed off on the precipitation with this one, with most being drained out to the north.  Santa Cruz would be measured in the hundredths of an inch.  But with these models flipping every 6h run, you can really rely to greatly on them.  High pressure builds in on Sunday and persists through Thanksgiving.  Chance of a big one after that.

If you don't mind a few puddles, then get out this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  Or wait for mid day Friday.  If you need the sun to be shining, Sunday will be your day.  Or Monday.  Heck, could even see a little warm up.  But the next few days will be mostly wet and cool.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Headed into a moderately wet run over the next week.

Damn these models.  They can not seem to make up their minds.  So, I have been perusing a variety of models, forecasts and outlets, and yeah, no one can seem to make up their minds.  Even an number of typically regularly updated sites are balking on making a call.  Screw it.  Here is mine for the the next few days.  I'd like to remind you though, that my confidence is high that we will see inclement weather, with few breaks between now and Sunday.  On the other hand, my confidence is low in actually timing and intensity of the events.  Okay, maybe not low.  Perhaps moderate.  So, here it goes.  The rest of today should be fair.  High in the mid to upper 60s, with a partly cloudy sky and light southerly flow.  Clouds increase through the afternoon and evening.

The first turns of the year snow is likely mostly gone by now.

The storm that is just offshore will be weakened by the high pressure as it moves near us.  It will also get pushed to the north.  We should still see some light showers, mostly likely during the afternoon hours on Wednesday.  It is possible that we could see some rain as early as pre-dawn hours on Wednesday, but the bulk should be here around noon, and clearing out overnight.  Round two is coming in from the north west, hot on its heels.  It is also packing a little bit more moisture.  A little.  And arriving Thursday afternoon.  So we could be looking as two days with clouds in the morning and rain in the afternoon.  Friday is looking like a little bit of a break, but moisture could linger through the morning hours.  By midday Saturday, round 3 will move down the coast, and bring another bought of light rain.  Still expecting between a 1/4 and 1/3 inch through the period.  These systems will also bring some colder air to the Sierra Nevada, so a bit of snow is looking likely.  Not enough to open up much terrain, but helping get the resorts ready for a turkey day opening.

Clearing on Sunday as the high pressure makes a rebound.  Then it looks like we could have a few days of fair, warmer weather before the holiday weekend.  More on that to come.  Hell, I can't even look at the next five days with much confidence, no point trying to interrupt the fluctuating 10 day models.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Active, but unimpressive.

So, no real big change to the forecast since Saturday, unless you consider that every storm looks a bit weaker (again) on the 6AM GFS this morning.  The Euro and Canadian are kind of in line, in that they are not predicting strong, very wet storms.  Too bad.  A bunch of us were getting excited.  I have my hill ready for some real rain.  I do need some to help tamp down the current terrace before I build my next wall.  Anyway, the pattern is looking active, but not really all that impressive.  And we still have another two days of fair weather on tap.  Although yesterday was quite a bit cooler than expected.  So, I'm going to stick with that trend and call for only mid to upper 60s, and mostly sunny today.  Should drop to the upper 40s for dawn Tuesday, with a similiar afternoon as today.

Chance of rain begins after sunset Tuesday and kind of lasts through the work week.  That is one of the problems with these weak systems, they can spread out an lag, instead of dumping and moving.  Anyway, it looks likely we will see some light showery weather by Wednesday morning, along with some slightly cooler air.  Highs for the day will top out around the low to mid 60s.  And here is where things get tricky.  Due the storm weakening just as it comes upon us, it makes it harder for it to get swept out by the jet.  Think of it like a tennis ball.  When in one piece, your racket can send it swiftly to the other side of the court.  Now puncture it a bunch, or even tear it into pieces.  Not so easy to send very far or very swiftly any more.  And a lot less predictable.  A grey sky continues through the night and into Thursday, with the lingering threat of drizzle.  Daily highs stay about the same.  By Early Friday morning, another system increases our chance of rain.  A third arrives mid morning Saturday, and this one looks likely to be the strongest.  Chance for clearing on Sunday.  Confidence low, as the models keep changing on the details.  All told, we are looking at about a third to half an inch of rain during the period.

The pattern remains weakly progressive beyond, with some possible rain during the upcoming holiday week.  I'll keep updating for changes in the pattern this week, and looking at next week with eager eyes.  Next Wednesday is one of the busiest road days of the year, and we could be seeing it wet.  Best to make plans, leave early and roll slow.  More on this and turkey week later.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Looks like some rain next week.

But not the torrents the GFS and other models were calling for just a few days ago.  We will get to that shortly.  First, a weakening storm will try to impact the very north west corner of the state tomorrow, while a big high pressure works to keep the other 99% dry.  For us, more of the same over the next few days, with highs in the upper 60s to very low 70s, and lows i the upper 40s to very low 50s.  Mostly sunny, with some clouds and light coastal fog developing overnight.  With some light and variable winds over the outer waters, it looks like a great few days to get out on the water.  We will even see another small up tick in the swell early in the work week.  But by late on Tuesday, we could be looking at a chance of rain developing.

Get your gear in order.  With a little luck, you could be schussing by Turkey Day.

Every single run of the GFS is showing fairly significant changes from the prior runs.  It is as if the models can not seem to make up their mind.  Regardless, several storms are lining up to give us a number of chances of rain.  The southern jet is not looking quite as energized as it was looking last week, and the first of these storms looks like it could bring some light rain to Santa Cruz for Wednesday.  This storm gets quickly deflected north before bringing much precipitation.  If it plays as such, Thursday looks mostly sunny.  Another storm tries to make inroads on Friday, but it looks like it will fall apart, bringing only a drizzle.  A third, and stronger, system could line up for late Saturday and into Sunday.  This one looks quite a bit wetter.  As of now, confidence is low for all of this.  I merely want to share the chance of rain with you.  It will take another few days to get a handle on all of this and get an idea of actually intensity and timing.  I doubt you need to baton down the hatches for the coming week, but I also expect we will see at least some rain.  How much, time will tell.  I'll take a look at the GFS and a few other models tomorrow, and hope to put out a work week forecast.  In the meantime, get outside and enjoy our late fall weather.  Sunday is looking quite nice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The twenty four hour flip flop.

Before we get to our foot wear we need to quickly discuss the next twenty four hours.  Right on track.  While this system has scene a little fluctuation in its forecast, it has been a pretty steady looking light rain for our area.  Santa Cruz should get some light rain beginning overnight tonight.  I'm guess around 3AM we will see the start of a light drizzle, with some moderate showers by first light, with things tapering off through the early morning hours.  Rain ending around 11AM.  Clouds remain. And of course, a chance of a passing shower.  Cool, with a high in the mid to upper 60s.  And the surf should see a bump up onThursday as well.  We could be seeing stars out tomorrow night.  As we move through Friday and into the weekend, warming is on track with a high on Sunday in the low 70s.  Regardless, the increasing sunshine will make things feel much warmer.  And the clear nights will be a bit cooler, dropping back down in tot he upper 40s.

Chair 10 at Kirwood is awaiting another round of snow.  Might get a few inches tonight.

Now, for those flip flops.  Yesterday, the noon GFS (and every run since Sunday 6AM at least) was looking very wet for next week.  In fact, the noon run was suggesting something in the neighborhood of seven inches of rain in ten days starting next Monday.  Each 6 hour run since then it has backed further and further off, until this evening , where it looks almost completely dry during the same period.  That is a very big change.  The thought was that the remnants of Nuri, which is about to bring us rain, would energize the southern branch of the Jet Stream, and send us a pummeling.  There was no way I was buying into seven inches, but I was hoping for three.  Now, I am not so sure about even a half.  Gonna let it run a few more models before I spend much time thinking too much more about it.  Just be ready for just about anything.

Rain tonight and through the middle of the day tomorrow.  Clearing late and overnight.  Then Friday looking nice, as does the weekend.  Likely some sort of rain event next week.  No need to build an ark just yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wow, folks, this may be for reals.

This morning, just before 8AM, I saw a few areas of blue poking through that marine layer.  And odd things this thing.  Kind of feels like summer, but not really.  Well, anyway, that was the last of the blue I saw today, as those high fog clouds stuck through till the end.  Still thinking we could see that marine layer clear out ahead of the storm tomorrow.  Could mean it will feel a touch warmer if the sun is hitting you, but doubtful we will get much north of 65F.  By later in the day we should see the clouds ahead of the rain system filling in.  Could set us up for a nice sunset.  Anyway, from the models I've seen today, still looks like the rain should fill in after midnight in Santa Cruz.  Also looks like we could see light, sporadic showers through most of the daylight hours on Thursday.  High in the 60s again.

The Sierra Crest got a bit of snow over Halloween.  Just enough to make it white.

So, it looks like we could have a nice weekend on tap.  Models still have not settled on a solution for the potential system on Sunday, so we have two scenarios setting up.  Number one has us drying out Thursday night, with a good shot of sun on Friday, and even more through the weekend, with high temps moving up to the low 70s by the weekend.  Scenario number two has that warmth and sunshine interrupted by some clouds and showers on Sunday.  Let us assume for now it will be nice.  You will know where to check for an update.  But that is not even the news.

I've got two items today.  First, we have the surf setting up for something fun to watch or play in by Thursday.  That whole super storm up in the Bearing Sea actually recorded the lowest barometric pressure in recorded history.  Well, that is sending us some waves for Wednesday, but with a poor trajectory, and filtering by the Aleutians, that is not really the news.  As the storm (which by the way is the same one that will be bringing us showers Thursday) moved south into the Gulf of Alaska, is began building fetches on top of long period swell,  and that will over run us on Thursday, along with locally produced waves as the storm moves ashore.  Could really churn things up.  Maybe some big surf up the coast, but I would not expect this thing to look pristine in much of anyway.  Just perhaps a welcome to the winter season.  As local conditions mellow into the weekend, we could be left with plenty of swell to clean up and make for real fun surf.

Item number two.  More and more it is looking like a wet week next week.  As in very wet.  First storm is lined up to arrive on Monday, with plenty queuing up behind it.  Could be rain every day.  Some days recording over an inch.  Maybe several of those kind of days.  Yeah, still pretty far out with the first one still six days out, so sure, a lot can change.  You just may want to consider using this weekend to fix any leaks, do erosion control work, bring in your tools, and toys, and anything that might blow away.  Could be a good time to plant some lettuce seed.  More on this later, but keep it in the back of your mind.  It has been a while since we have seen a period like this.  Could be fun for some.  Hectic for others.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Upper elevation snow and light rain below becoming likely for mid week.

When I was seeing suggestions of such things a week ago, I was feeling pretty skeptical about a wet outcome.  The pattern was starting to feel set in its ways, and memories of past few winters kept me from feeling hopeful.  With the noon run of the GFS today keeping us on track for a little moisture this week, I can say that some light showers is likely in the Bay Area this coming Thursday.  As for the fog clearing to partly sunny skies today, you can pretty much forget about that.  Anyway.  South winds along the open cost, but variable winds out by the buoys, and calm here in town has me thinking that fog will stick around through most of the day.  So plan for early darkness tonight.  It is cool out there as well.  58F as of 1:30 in the afternoon.  Tomorrow is not looking all too different.  Maybe a slightly better chance of seeing the sun peak through for a few minutes mid day.  Maybe. High pressure tries to fill back in on Wednesday, but a system coming into the CA/OR border won't really allow that to happen.  Or rather, high pressure to the north of there, forces this thing under it.  There will be rain up on the Del Norte coast for sure.  As in over an inch.  We will be scraped by the southern end of this one.  Deja vu?

There has been some fun autumn surf around.  Conditions will be erratic this week, so check your flags.

Currently it looks like the system will impact us in the very early morning hours of Thursday, until about 10AM.  Clouds will replace fog early Wednesday, and there will be a chance we could get pockets of light showers passing through later in the day.  Of course they will be more likely to our north, along the west facing coast in along the coastal ridge lines.  By evening, more widespread showers will fill in from the north.  I suspect that the evening commute in the North Bay might be wet, but dry in the South Bay.  But by Thursday morning, showers will likely be at least as far south as Monterey.  Both days will remain in the mid 60s.  Mid day should see clearing with most of the showers dissipated, or shifted northeast by night fall.  And get this, Friday will likely be sunny and warming back into the upper 60s.  Maybe even 70F.  All told we are looking at just a few tenths of an inch in Santa Cruz, a quarter inch in Marin, and a half inch or more north of Point Reyes.  The Tahoe region could a half foot along the peaks to the north, and a few inches to the south.

Saturday looks like Friday.  Another system tries to impact the north state y Sunday morning.  Will keep an eye on this one to see if any moisture splits off and heads south.  Charts are still looking wet starting around the 19th/20th, with some systems centered south of us.  Gonna keep an eye on this one as well.  So check back about rain later this week, and perhaps the start of winter next week.  That would be fun, eh?