Friday, January 31, 2014

Ski Resorts breath a sigh of relief. Next one upstream is Sunday.

Last night was a bust all over the state as the second wave just failed to produce.  Got its axis all wrong.  At least the first wave has made a difference in the Sierra snow pack.  Heavenly was the big winner this round, claiming 26 new inches of snow.  Of course that is all at the upper elevations, with under a foot at the California Base.  Up on the north side Squaw reported 10" and Rose 15", with Kirkwood in the south reporting 16, um, and a half, inches.  Anyway, new terrain is opening up.  This was a good, wet, base building snow, with a bit of fluff on top.  So, I imagine there is some decent stuff to ferret out.  But it will be busy up there, so stay safe.  Speaking of safe, if you are planning on heading out into the BC, use extreme caution as avalanche danger is still very high.  The old facets still exist in many places.  Allow this snow pack to settle and stabilize some.  As for the weather here in Santa Cruz, Saturday is looking similar to today, although with a bit less wind.  That is nice.  It was pretty windy out there today.  Sunday could be wet.

The latest model run of the GFS has us barely getting swiped by the system moving north to south just off shore.  Showers are looking more and more likely.  Not much of a rain or snow maker for the state, as this one is mostly to our west.  A slight shift in track, though, and we could see a whole lot more water.  An half to over an inch is expected just a few hundred nautical miles to our north west.  Pray for rain.  Next systems moves through to our north on Monday, maybe clipping Tahoe.  That will help keep us in the 50s.  Maybe warming up to the 60s mid week.  After that things are up in the air.  Some models have us dry.  Others wet by Thursday.  Several have large scale troughs setting up along the western coastline by Monday the 10th or so.  Could be a wet month.  I can tell you the 18z model run of the GFS looks nice in the fantasy land portion of the forecast.  More on that as we work through the next week.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Where is the rain??????

It came.  It went.  More might come.  Super light showers overnight here in Santa Cruz.  It dumped rain in the Sierra, then turned to snow late and dropped about 6" at 7000' and a foot above 10,000'.  More is falling, and they should have a snowy day up there.  The bulk of the moisture is just to our east this morning.  It looks like heavy rain around Yosemite right now.  Sun has broke out.  It should be a fine day.  We will see another round moving through later this evening, and showers could break out during the day today.  But otherwise, it looks pretty nice out there right now.  I'll get a pic up on Instagram in the next hour or so.  Follow me, therealweather on Instagram for regular updates and pics.

I'll get another, more in depth update for you later this evening or tomorrow morning, and will for report on the snow fall.  Lots of folks already planning to drive up to Tahoe this weekend.  A few things to remember.  First, this is not really all that much to get excited about.  Drive carefully, as a lot of Bay Area folks will be headed up there, and not all of them drive cautiously.  Be careful on the slopes.  Remember that we barely have a few inches on the ground in the best spots, and in the worse, it was just rocks on Wednesday morning.  Don't end up with powder fever and have a season ending injury before it even really begins.  And finally, be nice to each other as you try to get your snow fix on.  For those of you who plan to stay down on the coast, it could be a nice wintery weekend.  Maybe a waterfall is worth hiking to.  More later.  Stay safe.

Afternoon Edit:  It looks like round 2 (as in rain tonight) will likely be a bust, but Sunday now has a slightly improved chance for evening showers.  Beautiful evening out there right now.  Gonna be a pretty nice sunset I imagine.  Still keep an eye out for showery activity, especially in the north valley zones, like Sac.  And, if you are headed up to the snow, please be careful.  High Avalanche Danger is currently forecasted, and that means that even inbounds, sloughs could knock you down and pull you through rocks.  Stay safe.  Oh, and we are now talking about a foot at 8,000 feet, so those higher up resorts should have been nicely plastered by heavy, wet, Sierra Cement.  Funny how it barely rained down here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Twas a balmy one today.

So, we headed over the hill to ride the amusements at Happy Hollow, and it turns out it rained there some time early Wednesday morning.  Not a whole lot, but the pavement was wet, and there were puddles around.  And it got quite a bit warmer than expected.  It sure felt warm out and the car thermometer showed 71F in SJ.  It hung around 64F here in town.  Still, felt humid almost.  Rain will push down the coast tonight.  It is dumping in Tahoe.  Mostly rain below 8500', but at least we are getting water some where in the state.  Anyway, keep an eye out for it here.  Should arrive by the morning commute.  Not a whole bunch in town, but a fair amount if you are driving over the hill.  And the roads will be slippery.  And people will drive foolishly.  Don't be a fool.  Drive carefully.  Rain showers should persist through mid day, and taper a bit in the evening.  Brisk NW breezes, especially along the water.  It will be cool tomorrow, in the mid to upper 50s.  A second wave pushes in later in the evening, and we could see a resurgence of showers Friday morning.  Low 40s at day break.

Lighthouse Field trees at sunset.

Friday will be a touch warmer than Thursday, but doubtful that we will hit 60F.  A clearing sky allows for a cooler night of around 40F.  Saturday looks to be mostly sunny, brisk, and chilly.  Overnight lows could drop into the 30s, but due a a little warming by next Monday, we should avoid any frost.  The chance for showers Sunday evening looks slim, with that storm likely staying off shore.  Another chance for storms next Thursday and again Saturday, but those look slim.  And right now, it looks like the high pressure to build back in for week 2, but the long term models suggest a large trough for the west coast week 3.  Not sure I'd place any bets on that.  Stay safe and try to stay dry the next few days.  Or maybe it is time to put on some stompers and a slicker and go out and enjoy the rain.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A decent forecast, I'd say...

Locally, we are going to get a little rain.  A bit more than showers, but not quite a dumping on.  Regionally, we are going to get a whole bunch more.  Not enough to knock out the drought, but enough to put some snow pack on the ground and green up the hills.  A bit.  For a short while, at least.  Here is how the next few days look to play out.  Wednesday will be fair in Santa Cruz, with some lingering fog layer in the mornings, clearing quickly to mostly cloudy.  Kind of like the past few days.  Mid 60s.  North west breezes usher cooler in air late in the day as a cold front makes its way south.  Rain for Marin by afternoon, as the first plume of moisture moves ashore just to our north.  Showers move south overnight.  Tahoe could get hit with a wet bomb, dropping  good foot overnight.  Snow levels start off high, then drop through Thursday.  Cool, but not cold, here Wednesday night in the upper 40s.

Ah, the dog days of winter are behind us.  For now.  Lighthouse Field, Santa Cruz.

Rain moves in through the day Thursday.  The local mountains good get a half inch of rain, but town will be shadowed pretty nicely from this event.  A tenth or two is expected here in Santa Cruz.  Barely enough to wet the ground.  Don't get me wrong.  A slight shift in the axis, and we could push an inch.  There is plenty of water with this thing.  Just not aimed at us.  Mostly aimed on the coast north of SF, but even more so on the Sierra.  The crest near Lake Tahoe could get 18-30 inches of new, wet, base building snow.  This is good for skiers, and it is good for water retention.  We need way more than that for both good recreation and drought abatement, but we will take every drop we can get.  If you are chasing the powder day on Friday, please be real careful out there.  Just under that two foot of fresh is granite and pine.  Snow snakes waiting to cause some serious injury.  Speaking of caution, we lost someone to the ocean the other day here in town.  Our hearts go out to the family and those who tried to save him.  Very sad.  And please be very careful out there, especially when the surf becomes a bit mean.

Friday things begin to clear down here on the coast, but the air will remain cool.  Thursday through Sunday the temperatures will not likely reach into the 60s, but it should be mostly sunny by Friday.  Overnight lows drop down below 40F Friday, and by Tuesday night we have a chance of frost.  More on that as we get closer.  There is a very slight chance for showers Sunday evening, as the next system upstream falls apart just off shore and scrapes by on its way south.  After that some models have the high pressure building back in with cold air in place, while others have us wet again by the end of next week.  Time will tell.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting closer.

This rain storm is not looking huge, but it has potential.  Just a quick post tonight, as I will be taking a greater in depth look at the models tomorrow.  Past few runs do suggest an earlier arrival, and one that is moving more north to south.  Marin getting rain late on Wednesday, and Santa Cruz getting it mid morning, or so, on Thursday.  Not a whole lot of moisture for us in the most recent run, maybe an half inch.  The Sierra pulls in much more with two plus inches of water, or several feet of snow.  And this stuff will be the spackle they need to fill in some of those huge gaps.

Anyway, I'll take another look tomorrow, and get a sense of how this thing will hit us.  Surf is still running on the over head range.  Maybe a bit smaller than that in town.  Still plenty of waves to ride before you really consider the snow.  But maybe you should spend your free time getting that BBQ cover back on.  It has been a while since we had to deal with any real moisture.  Even an half inch will seem like a lot, and if the dynamics adjust, we could see even more.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Confidence builds for a wet end to the week.

Chillier today.  It was still splendid, but not quite what we have been getting.  And this afternoon, I watched as the marine layer developed and began moving near shore.  By night fall it was right along west cliff.  Could make for a damp morning.  Regardless, we have an interesting week ahead of us.  Fog clears by mid morning on Monday.  Maybe earlier.  Some clouds, and a moderate northwest breeze by afternoon.  High of 65F.  The marine layer should be kept from developing with a little help from that wind.  Overnight lows also start to climb due to the cloud cover.  Monday night should stay in the mid 40s.  Tuesday climbs back to the mid 60s.  Not much of a difference for Wednesday, but by evening things will start looking a bit different.

Kirkwood could sure use some snow.  Fingers crossed.

I'm thinking that we will need to wait till night fall on Thursday for rain, but occasional model runs have suggested a little showery weather as early as Wednesday night.  To be honest, I'm still feeling reluctant to call the rain.  They way this past year has been going, I am still expecting some last minute big play by the high pressure that will push moisture in some other direction.  But the models have been in agreement now for several days.  The latest run of the GFS has pulled back a bit on the moisture plume, but we could be looking at an inch or so on the coast, and two to several in the Sierra.  How will it all play out.  Not sure, but I can give insight into what I have been seeing.

Clouds develop late Wednesday and further on Thursday.  This is basically a warm storm, so highs on Thursday be in the low 60s.  Some areas, may see showers in the morning.  Wide spread rain develops after mid day.  Maybe as early as the commute.  This thing is coming from the WNW, so we will not see rain developing in the north and moving south, but pretty much coming right off the ocean.  Thursday night should be wet, as will be Friday morning.  Then partial clearing, as subsequent waves try to wrap on shore.  This will keep us with a chance of rain through Saturday evening, but as of now it looks that the dew point will be low enough to only squeeze out a little high mountain snow.  So, we could be dry from mid Friday through the weekend.  I'll post back up here over the next few days and let the models run a few more times.  Bottom line is it looks like we will get at least a little rain, and maybe some moderate rain, around the coming Thursday. Holy geez.  As of now, the following week looks dry with the high pressure rebounding.  As if we could not see that coming.  Come on, Ma Nature, get creative.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Loss of epic-ness update.

Another quick one this evening to get you thinking about the change in weather.  Barely noticed the difference today.  Sure, it was a touch cooler, and felt a bit more wintery at the beach, but the deck was quite nice in the afternoon sun.  More of the same tomorrow, although the winds build out of the north west, instead of the south west, during the afternoon.  The current swell drops further, as another one fills in.  Go figure.  Surf is up.  Mid to upper 60s.  Then this continues through mid week.  Upper 30s overnight, and upper 60s during the afternoon.  We could see clouds increasing Monday night, into Tuesday.  Clearer on Wednesday.  Less breezy as well.  Until the shift.

Lone Pine at night fall.  Lighthouse Field, Santa Cruz.

We are still a bit far out for much confidence given the season we are having, but Thursday could see a shift to actual rain fall by night fall.  I'm still waiting for the 18z, but if that has a wet determination, that would be 8 runs in a row.  Fingers crossed, as we need the water.  Storm develops west of us, picks up a moisture plume, and drives that at SF.  Not as wet down here, but rain through Friday mid day.  Some models suggest another wave or two over the weekend.  Most have us dry for the following week.  Things are starting to get interesting.

I'll take another look tomorrow and try to post up before bedtime, to get a better sense of what next week could bring.  If rain is in the forecast, I've got a lot to wrap up in the back yard.  I'm sure you have something to take care of too.  While this does not look like a major moisture train, it could still be more than we have seen since 2012.

Epic-ness of local weather put on hold. More typical winter weather expected.

Man, that was good fun.  But all good things come to an end.  We will not be warming up into the 70s this weekend.  Upper 60s at best.  Could be even a bit cooler on Sunday.  Fog might even be an issue late tonight and Sunday morning.  Rain still looks to stay to our north, but a series of systems are approaching.  I will post back up this afternoon after getting a look at this morning's model runs.  But we are going through a pattern change.  Tahoe could see a little dusting of snow Tuesday.  We will need to watch as that system gets real close to us.  Another moves through late Thursday.  Enjoy the subsiding surf this morning.  It looks like we will at least be getting waves through the first half of next week.  More later when I get a better look and hold of the coming weather.  Be ready folks.

Sunsets have been going off as long as the epic weather has.  Been a good month to live here.

EDIT:  Quick note regarding next week.  After a very quick look at the early morning runs, it would look like the system Tuesday just scrapes by.  Likely some clouds from that one.  The Thursday system build offshore and runs over us.  Could be one of the more solid rain systems of the season yet.  Ha!  Like that is saying much.  Still, for now, lets us think about rain coming to end next work week.  We sure could use it.  More later.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mavs to go Friday. Then epicness continues.

Gonna do a quick update, as the Mavs contest is a go for this Friday.  That means it is gonna be big.  One of the biggest days in the past four years.  Yes.  Big.  Unless you are a hell raiser, stay clear of that ocean.  You can't get real close to the contest sight any more after all those folks got nearly washed into the sea a few years back, but I am sure it will be streaming some where.  South winds might be a bit of an issue throwing on some bump, but with luck, we will remain on the clam side.  We are not seeing any rain, but the weather will be interesting.

Middle Peak in 2012, looking steely and inviting.  

Thursday will be cooler, with chance of some fog or marine layer developing late.  Could feel like a drizzle overnight.  Cooler air fills in behind on Friday as we struggle moving up through the low 60s.  South southeast light wind develops.  Bubble fills back in pumping in the warmth for the the weekend with a return to the 70s likely.  Could be feeling toasty again middle of next week.  While we sure do need the rain, it is hard to complain about this fine weather condition.

So, begining Thursday morning, keep an eye on the ocean if you are near by.  Surges from the first part of the swell could be severe, as we will likely start seeing some small amounts of energy in the 28 second period.  That mean three waves every minute.  Pretty far apart, but those things are thick, moving faster than a truck, and will travel quite a distance up a beach or cliff.  And the thing is, you can barely see them coming in.  Swell builds through the day becoming more noticeable, and over riding the existing waves.  Friday morning should be big.  A lot of places will be too big.  Middle Peak will be pushing the twenty foot range.  Scotts Creek will be bigger, and Mavs bigger than that.  Use extreme caution when approaching the ocean.  Swell subsides over the weekend, but we remain in the over head range for some time.  So, after Friday, and Saturday, perhaps, we return to big surf for us mortals, with clean conditions, sunshine and 70F afternoon temps.  It is hard to complain about this drought.

Monster date line storm generating monster surf.

Yup, it is gonna get real, yo.  Not that it has not been real.  The surf the past several weeks has been what us central Californians have come to expect during autumn and winter.  Finally.  And the finale of the current run of swell is going out with a bang, with a full on Mavs swell hitting us late tomorrow and into Friday.  Please use caution when approaching the water through the end of the week.  Swell slowly subsides over the weekend.  Not much on the charts as we get past this next swell.  But it is not like we expect it to go flat, but the big boards might go back on the racks for a few weeks.

Fall becomes Winter along the San Lorenzo River.

Still no rain on the charts, so please do your part in reducing water usage.  While I am still hopeful for the arrival of winter, and we do see signs of a pattern change, we are far from any confidence in any rain at all.  This is quickly turning into one of the worst recorded drought periods seen by the state.  Glad I'm putting a lot of gravel in my yard design, along with drought resistant plants.  Anyway, I'll post up more later as we move through this week of fine weather and will keep an eye out for any rain makers.  Go watch some one rip up the waves.  I did.  While paddling back out after a good one, I saw my buddy tuck into a huge tube just north of Davenport.  The view was actually better than anything I got.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Epic turns more mild with potential relief by month's end.

It probably does not feel terribly dry, living here in paradise with low to mid 70s, sunshine, pumping surf and what not.  But we need some water.  Actually, we need a lot of water.  But every little drop will help.  We won't get it this week.  Low 70s along the coast again here today.  Overhead surf all along west cliff.  Sunshine.  Epic sunset expected, because, why would that not be expected.  More of the same tomorrow, although a northerly breeze should develop, and with that will come a touch of cooler.  Let's say upper 60s.  A front that will be well to our north will keep us cooling through Friday.  Won't get too cold, just in the low 60s.  Saturday and beyond warms back up into the upper 60s.  And plenty of sun.

But this blissful run of weather will need to end some time.  The mid term is suggesting that we will begin a pattern change shift sometime early next week, as a low pressure system breaks through this high pressure, and brings rain to the PNW.  California mostly to remain dry.  Now, I'm not ready to commit to anything, but we could see a continued weakening and displacement of this bubble.  Then, depending on how things set up, we should see less idyllic weather.  And if it ain't gonna be epic, let's hope for torrents.  I need to get some inside work done after all.

At this point, all this is still too far out for me to even feel confidence in the pattern change.  This high has been around for some time.  I'll be watching the model runs this week and reporting up here.  Remember, my gut tells me that when it comes this season, it is gonna come in buckets.  Be ready.  But for now, go grab a stand up shack, or watch some one do it for ya.  We have swell all week.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Performing better than expected.

Holy crap it is hot out there today.  Not hot hot, but hot enough.  I grabbed a 81F reading just around 2PM today.  Feels a bit warmer than that out on my deck.  Speaking of which, I need to get a thermometer set up out there.  Regardless, upper 70s to low 80s here in town today.  Anyone want an ice cream cone?  While we start to cool off tomorrow, it looks like we will stick in the upper 70s Friday, mid 70s Saturday, and just about 70F for Sunday and Martin Luther King Day.  It is going to be niiiiiiice out there.  And we have a big swell expected to hit this weekend to boot.  A small bump up in swell for Friday, and then a whopper showing up on Sunday.  This could be the Mavs Contest swell people, so if you enjoy watching folks defy huge waves, then get your plans set to head up to Half Moon Bay.  With a lot of west in the coming swell, the show will be coming to town as well.  If you are not sure of your waterman status, steer clear of the ocean, and watch from behind the fence.  I don't want to hear of anyone getting swept from shore.  A few fell in this past Sunday, and lucky them, they were saved.

Low tide reef wash.

Upper 60s and low 70s look to continue through next week.  There is talk, and hope, of a pattern change by months end.  Here is what I see.  Mega High still looking to peak out around the weekend of the 25/26.  Looks like perfect mid winter beach weather.  We could be looking at some records here.  And then that things looks to take an Alaskan cruise vacation, and starts to migrate north.  By early February, we could be seeing some storms cutting under and starting to give us some much needed rain.  All fantasy land talk right now, but just want to keep our eyes open folks.  My gut, not science, tells me, that when the jet finally does drive into central California, it will bring a fury train of rain.  I'm staying on my toes as I continue to work on retaining walls.  I don't want to be caught with my pants down.  It is still winter here.  It is still our rainy season.  Be ready for it when it shows.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Come Visit Santa Cruz. Now.

Nothing is set in stone.  Not with the weather.  And while the forecast models have been far from accurate in the long term, they have been better at predicting dry patterns more so than wet patterns.  Of course that might be because wet patterns are things things we read about in history columns.  Or so it seems.  But if you have ever wanted to visit here, or have wanted to have a world class surf trip, now is the time to come.  January looks very good in that respect.  Most of the locals are praying for rain.  Or snow.  But short of the impending drought, California is going off right now.  A solid 75F out there today.  Great surfing conditions, and some fun sized swell.  Overhead up the coast, and chest high or more in town.  That will slowly drop this week, but one should be able to easily ferret out some head high surf through the week.  Then bigger west swell arrives through the weekend.  The type of surf stories are written about.  Glassy water surfaces.  Long period.  Large amplitude.  Filling in not only on the open coast, but in through town.  Starting this weekend, through month's end, things are looking pretty nice.  Now, we know we can't trust the long term models, but this high pressure turns into a super beast of a bubble around the 26th.  We could see temperatures soar in to the 80s while epic swell drives into the coast.  Be here for that if you can.  But again, the long term models are not all that reliable.  But there is no rain in sight.  Just swell makers and outstanding weather.  Too bad.  We really need some rain.  More details later this week, but the mid 70s continue through Thursday, low 70s on Friday, and then upper 60s for the holiday weekend.  Right now, looks like we could warm again next week.  Geez.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mid January Fire Watch. Seriously.

The North Bay Hills have had a Fire Watch issued by the NWS for overnight Monday due to dry fuels, low humidity and strong easterly flow.  You know like we might have in a typical September.  I just read some where this morning that there is no 'normal' in weather.  Got that one straight.  There has been nothing normal about the weather this past year.  Dry winter to start 2013.  Little fog and warm summer days.  Some rain in August, September and October.  And now we are seeing fire conditions to start 2014.  In fact, if we don't get some water soon, we could be having a very destructive fire season this coming summer.  My gut tells me a few things.  First, this is not all due to climate change, but rather falls well within our typical norms of variance here in our maritime climate.  That is not to say that I don't believe in climate change, but rather, just like very cold events, very dry events occur.  And secondly, my gut tells me the rain will come.  Sure, we will fall below average, but I suspect that we will still get up to 65% of average for the water year, which would suggest some above average months are in our near future.  Just not too near.  And now, the weather.

It amazes me how these guys stay put during big swells.  Sea Anemone, Santa Cruz.

Fricking sick out there today.  High 30s at sunrise and low 70s at lunch time.  Sunshine, with a stiff off shore morning breeze lightening up a bit through the day.  Subsiding swell, but subsiding form one of the biggest yet this season.  Head high surf in town and bigger up the coast.  Should be a beautiful winter day out there.  And while that surf does continue to drop, the daytime highs soar through mid week.  Flip flops and t-shirts baby!  75F on Tuesday.  Low 70s for Wednesday and Thursday.  Then we get to experience some of that cold everyone has been talking about.  Only going to reach into the upper 60s for Friday and low to mid 60s on the weekend.  Ah, California is rough.  It is funny to think how my mother wonders how I can endure our cold, foggy summers and our stormy, rainy winters.  I'm not sure either, because it has been some time since I have endured them.

In the last post I suggested a pattern change for this coming weekend and next week.  Over the last several days that has changed on the models.  The GFS has gone the way of the Canadian.  There are storms still projected, but the first, on Saturday, does its best to break down our resilient high pressure.  Hence the drop in temperature.  But it gets sent north and now the thinking is the high will bubble back up, and we could be back into record temperature territory again the following week, as a series of storms gets sent into the PNW and BC.  Not here.  Which is too bad.  We really need the water.  If you drive over the hill, I'm sure you have noticed how terribly low the Lexington Reservoir is.  Well, that is pretty much the deal all across the state.  And there is no snow pack to melt off.  We at least did get a few inches over this past Saturday, and it even drizzled here on the coast for five minutes, but we need feet of water at this point to make any significant impact.  And as of this morning, it looks like it could stay dry, and quite warm, through the end of the month.  Pray for rain folks.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

High Surf Event Sunday.

So, let's talk about this big surf thingy for Sunday, as not much else of real excitement is going on right now.  I mean, we could see a few sporadic showers late Saturday or early Sunday, but that will likely stay to our north.  But the storm that could bring the precipitation is packing a whole lot of wind, and continue to look like it will develop quite a fetch later tonight and send a moderate plus sized north angles swell.  Current thinking is about 10 feet plus at 17 seconds.  That would be the biggest swell we have seen all year, but there will be a few contributing factors to consider as well.  First, this swell will be the third in a series developed by three small, but intense storms that developed in the very eastern Gulf of Alaska.  All three storms were close, so there is a lot of noise in the swell.  All three will still be around Sunday, but the biggest of the three arrives late Saturday and early Sunday.  It could be quite a mess up the coast, as the local winds will pick up on Saturday and throw a lot of chop on it.  OB will likely be DOH+, and quite a challenge.  Big wave spots could be pushing 15 feet or more.  But here in town, it will be quite different.  We face south.  These swells will be coming from the north and will basically need to wrap 140 to 180 degrees to get on top of our breaks.  Size will likely be running about head high plus on West Cliff, and smaller on Pleasure Point.  And it will be quite a bit cleaner the further east you head.  That all said, it could get bigger than this, and there will for sure be some rogue sets, so keep your eye on the water, and be careful when going out on the rocks.

Last winter had a few fun viewing days.  Fingers crossed for some big surf.

So.  The weather.  Saturday will be a cool one, with some clouds, and wind.  Still feeling like the rain will stay north, but let us say there is a slight chance later in the day.  Wind picks up considerably during the day.   Sunday will be sunnier, and warmer, but only by a few degrees.  Still looking at upper 60s Monday and low 70s Tuesday.  It should stay warm through Thursday, but as we head into the weekend, temps will lower down again, but not quite as cool as this weekend.  Still a storm way out on the horizon, so keep posted.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Everyone knows it never rains in California.

My childhood impressions of the state are finally taken fruition.  I grew up in the North East, where it is hot and humid in the summer, and cold and blistery in the winter, and precipitation falls year round.  When I thought of California, I thought of sunshine and beach weather.  Seems like I was right.  Right?  At least for now that seems the case.  This week's stormy weather is really not all that stormy.  Just a bit cooler and breezier than it has been.  Let's take a look at the coming weekend, next week, and the possible change in patterns to come some time around MLK Day.

More persimmons.  More great weather.  But, please send us some rain.

Cool, meaning low 60s, daytime weather continues through this week and into the weekend.  Over night lows continue to drop into the upper 30s.  Friday should have a partly cloudy sky, as well as Saturday.  Rain showers look to approach as far south as Marin County.  Chances look pretty slim in Santa Cruz for any measurable precipitation.  It might feel a bit like Wednesday with fog/clouds and a moment or two of drizzle.  Onshore winds are strongest today, and we will see morning offshores setting up as early as Friday.  Sunday looks a bit clearer, and temperatures begin to climb up through the 50s.

For next week, we see some robust high pressure setting up upon us again, driving daytime highs into the low 70s.  The best days next week, in the best locations in town, could see us top out at 75F.  If you are hoping for some perfect outdoor weather, the period between this Sunday and next Sunday is your best bet.  Epic weather is looking to grace us again.  Surf is on its way back up as well.  Nothing like the two weeks of holiday swell, but definitely something winter like with wave heights building to a peak of double overhead for the open coastline on Sunday.  The steep northerly angle of this one will keep things much smaller in town.  Still, it looks like we are on a run of shoulder high and bigger surf for the next six days.  And maybe longer.  Next Monday and Tuesday will be prime days with moderate surf, offshore winds and fantastic weather.

Now the fantasy forecast.  I'll keep it brief, and emphasize the 'maybe' aspect of this report.  The GFS has for several runs now become more progressive with the high pressure that seems to have been around for an entire year, to begin weakening around Friday, January 17th.  Large low pressure takes control of the eastern Gulf of Alaska, and begins to approach the coastline, pushing south into California around MLK Day, and setting us up for a decent period or rain starting Tuesday, January 21st.  If the models are correct, this will be the strongest storm we have seen since 2012.  If.  We still have 8 days until this pattern change and 12 until the rain, and the models have performed very poorly the last year or two in this time range... but, if you are like me, and have extended any outdoor projects into this winter that could be adversely affected by lots of water, you will want to keep an eye on this system.  I for sure will be reporting back here within a few days to see how the GFS and other models play this thing out as we get closer.  Check back for updates, but for now, enjoy the good weather, and plan for some epicness next week.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

If it ain't gonna rain, it mind as well should be gorgeous.

Next week it could be delivering again.  Not rain, but shine.  Back up into the 70s by Tuesday.  But before then, we remain cooler, cloudier, and with a slight chance of showers to start the weekend.  This morning clouds, or maybe it is fog, shroud the southern end of Monterey Bay, and threaten to move north, across the bay to Santa Cruz.  As of 9AM, the eastern SC mountains are covered in clouds.  Town is still sunny, tho.  Cool today.  Highs stick in the upper 50s.  More details to come later today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Western Drought?

If it were not for the big water year of 10/11, we would be upon some very hard times right now.  Last winter it basically stopped raining at New Years.  The previous, it did not begin until after MLK Day.  The few years prior to 10/11 were no record setters themselves, with several with significantly below average rain fall.  While we did get some water already this season, it has been very minimal, and here is not a whole bunch in the forecast.  Some are concerned that this is a result of Global Climate Change.  What ever your perspective on that subject, it is important to remember that historically our rain, and snow fall, is variable.  While snowfall in the Sierra averages about 450 inches every winter, 85% of winters get as little as 250 inches and up to 750 inches.  So far, what we are experience this season would not be considered abnormal.  Just a bit on the dry side.  In fact, last season (12/13) fell well within the norm, even though the 2013 calendar year was the driest on on record.  Anyway, it looks like we will will be rain free this week, but that does not mean that our weather is going to be as perfect as it was during the holidays.  Hopefully you had out of town guest visiting whom you could show off our lovely town to.  Maybe now they understand why you pay that ridiculous rent or mortgage to live here.

One of my favorites from the fall.  Not sure if I posted this one here.  4 Mile Beach.

More cloud cover today.  It will not quite clear our completely this week, but more sun is expected on Wednesday.  Cooler as well.  Low 60s today, and we might even stay in the upper 50s on Wednesday.  Overnight lows continue to hang in the upper 30s.  Cloud cover will keep us from cooling off too much.  Things warm back up into the low 60s Thursday and through the weekend.  The offshore conditions that have kept our weather so pleasant will shift more onshore later today and stay that way through Thursday or so.  Morning off shores could return Friday and Saturday, but another system threatens our region Sunday.  No rain expected.

We could return to epic weather by next week.  Then storms the following week.  Of course, the mid and long term are not reliable, so check back here.  Heck, the short term is not super accurate, so check back here soon.  BTW, best chance for drizzle this week would be Thursday, but things look dry for now.  More mid size surf is on the way as well.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pattern Change Afoot.

Yeah, I know some of you are hoping to hear about strong storms hitting California giving us copious amounts of rain and snow.  Lord knows we need it.  Whether you be one who loves to schuss, or garden, or bath, or drink, we need some water.  2013 was the driest Calendar Year  on record.  This is drought folks.  Please conserve your resources, especially if you rely on well or cistern.  But let us take a look at this week's coming weather patterns.  A slow shift from the current pattern is going on.  You may have notice the surf disappear today, or the slightly cooler temperatures.  Our high pressure is starting to break down, and the big storms marching across the Pacific has morphed into weak systems trying to push south from the Gulf of Alaska.  We should get some smaller, northerly swell from these, but not a whole lot of that will wrap into town.  Monday looks similar to today, with sun and highs in the mid 60s.  Some cloud cover could develop by evening.  Might be another killer sunset.  Then a series of storms try to break down the high pressure.

Another of my wife's shooting.  Persimmon.  UCSC Farm.  It is beautiful here right now folks.  Simply Beautiful.

First one is on Tuesday.  Basically it is weak, lame, and will fall apart as it makes an attempt to penetrate the high pressure that has been sitting on us for most of the year.  Still, very slight chance for rain on Tuesday.  It will cool off the day time highs a bit, and push in a bit more cloud cover.  That dimple in the high will persist through the week.  Another attempt occurs on Thursday.  A stronger looking storm shows up later in the weekend.  At least Seattle looks like it could get a decent rain.  My gut right now agrees with this morning models, with pretty much all of precipitation staying away from our region.  Maybe the mountains will get a dusting of snow for a total of a few inches for the week.

Whatever.  We need a bunch more moisture than that.  At least we don't need to worry about the radioactivity from Fukushima as much.  That stuff will mostly be carried by rain.  More on that scary bit later.  For now, after this week it looks like the high pressure will rebound completely and send us back into that glorious warmth of mid winter.  Even looks like the good surf could return.  So at least the weather is awesome, the surf is up, and we don't have radioactive rain falling on us.  But we really need some water.  Even if it is glowing a little bit.