Friday, June 27, 2014

54/76. Great tomato weather for most. Heat wave coming.

A few clarifications.  First:  Awesome tomato growing weather, as long as you are not under that morning fog that has been lingering on the water's edge the past few days.  If you are looking up and seeing grey until 10AM, you are kind of missing out on four hours of warmth and sunshine.  That has been the weather lately.  Still mornings with some marine layer right along the coast, pulling out mid day with strong sea breezes.  And that is what we will continue to have through the weekend.  Get your self out of the breeze, and if feels pretty damn nice.  I'd say upper 70s, maybe even 80F in spots.  And Second: The heat wave will not really be a wave.  More like one day.  For the interior.  We won't even get that much warmer.  But there will be a difference.

Finishing off strong at 4 Mile Beach.

High pressure will try to push onshore, easing the pressure gradient over the local waters.  Winds might even go off shore in the morning hours.  Expect some afternoon sea breeze, but nothing like the gales we have been seeing.  And bonus is a late season mid period north westerly swell should be filling in to combo with a small south.  Fun peaky surf ensures.  Hopefully.  While we won't see the upper 90s the interior will experience, I'd expect we move into the low 80s for Monday or Tuesday.  The inland low is going to try to push back early next week, so don't expect an extended period of warmer weather and lighter winds.  More summer to come.

If you do live in the valley, Monday would be a fine day to escape to the coast.  With light winds and sunshine, that is a good combo for the central coast.  Or just go out and explore any way.  We just returned from two days at Plaskett Creek in Big Sur, and we had very little marine layer.  Plenty of sun, and no too strong of a wind on the beach.  Go coves.  It is summer and this place is awesome.  Go explore.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunny. Even a chance of calm and sunny. And warm.

I saw the south flow changing to a north flow, and all along, I thought it was a very temporary thing.  Instead, it has taken hold.  Brisk north winds have been blowing for days now, and speeds above 25 knots have ben recorded the past few afternoons.  Today felt quite breezy.  That should lessen tomorrow.  The nice thing about that north wind is it does not allow the fog to linger much.  Mornings have been pleasant, as it takes a while for the wind to work its way into town.  The west side is breezier of course.  More warming the next few days.  Mid 70s.  We could be seeing fairly light winds through the middle of the week.  Still expect an afternoon on shore northerly flow, but it will be much lighter than it has been.  Could allow things to really warm up Wednesday and Thursday.  In fact, it looks pretty damn nice in the near term.  Mostly sunny, with maybe a patch or two of morning fog, with over night lows in the mid 50s and the daily highs in the mid 70s.

Sunshine is always welcome.  

Nice weather for surfing, with light variable morning winds and low tide.  There are even some forecasts of eddy flow developing.  That does not seem likely this evening.  Unfortunately there is very little swell in the water right now.  I found some very small waves for the long board today, but that was a stretch.  I've been told the biking is in excellent shape near Wilder.  If you stay out of that wind, it should be nice.  It is a also a good time to be working the garden, and planting vegetables.  They love this weather if your plot has some decent wind protection.  Long days of sunshine, but not too hot.  As far as summer time goes, it is pretty damn nice out right now.  We could be still lingering in that grey.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rain for the PNW changes our flow.

If you are observant, you will have noticed a change in the fog this morning.  It was much less wet.  Yesterday I collected 3 gallons dripping off a roof between seven and ten in the morning.  The ground is not even wet today.  That is because the south flow we have been enjoying is coming to an end.  The winds shift hard out of the northwest today.  That lifts the fog layer higher, and stops pushing moisture up the south facing hills.  No more early morning drizzle, and we will even see some afternoon sun.  Depending on what you enjoy, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing.  So, here is the break down for the next few days.

Shore break.  4 Mile Beach.  Santa Cruz.

High fog clears out around noon today.  Some cloud cover may linger later, especially along the water.  But it will not be like the last few days when the grey lasted through the afternoon and any blue above was rare.  The northwest flow builds through the next few days, blowing out the fog earlier each morning.  Mid 70s for today and Friday.  80F in town for Saturday.  Cooler at the beaches.  Then it begins to cool off again, as the high pressure starts shifting to our north.  About 70F for the start of next work week.  Northwest flow continues, but may weaken by Tuesday.  We may even see a return to south flow, which would mean longer lingering fog.  So basically, foggy for the next week, but at least we may see the sun for a few days.  Must be June.

Surf has been pretty small recently, but with the light south flow, some spots exposed to the small south ground swells and the small northwest wind swells were clean and breaking.  With not much swell on tap for the next week, and those north west winds brewing, you will need to be looking toward early morning sessions or grabbing a longboard.  Or better yet, a bike.  That drizzle the past few days should have settled some of the loose slough on the single track.  It is also pretty stellar weather for working in the yard.  You can do a lot of heavy lifting with minimal sweat.  Anyway, even though it can feel dreary when it gets like this, there is still plenty of fun things to do.  And really, the weather is great.  It is not like it is raining.  But then again, we could sure use some of that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Monday, June 9, 2014

Marching straight into summer.

June is a month of transition.  It culminates the spring and begins the summer.  In stories, and in the place of my childhood, it is the shift from cool, crisp, wet to warm, humid and green.  Suddenly flowers appear, and fruit sets.  The promise:  Soon it will be hot.  For here, that means a whole lot of grey.  But the flowers have also been out all winter.  So there is that.  And this grey helps us, especially when water is lacking.  Look at the redwoods.  Watch the fog collect on surfaces and drip.  It is good for us.  And if you need a bit more sun in your life, just head on up to SLV.  Plenty to do up there for the day.  Or go over the hill.  Or to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada.  Plenty of sunshine nearby.  And we have our afternoons.  But now for the week ahead.  Basically grey mornings and sunny afternoons.  Except for the immediate coastline which will keep packs of greyshine.

Emergency Vehicles.  Thank you for practicing.  4 Mile Beach.

So, yeah, that heat wave is wrapping up today.  That was rough.  Still pretty hot over the hill today before cooler air fills back in.  South flow running right now, so that fog lingers.  Water is still chilly, but warm pockets of water have been moving north.  Small, weak wind swell is in the water.  There is supposed to be some building south swell, but that will be pretty small.  Still pretty glassy out there with mostly light winds.  A storm will try to get into the PNW behind the high pressure to our north on Wednesday.  This could shift our wind flow into a neutral and then northerly direction.  The marine layer could become more entrenched, then blow out late Thursday.  Temperatures remain cooler.  Today, Monday, we will still see some low 70s, but the rest of the week has us in the upper 60s to just about 70F.  South flow could return for the weekend.  Regardless, it feels certain we will have variations on the grey morning scene for some time to come.  Yay!  Summertime!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ma Nature keeps the air conditioner on.

Thing is, we don't really need it.  But the fog will keep the impending heat wave from warming us up into the hot range.  While the interior will bake in 100 plus fahrenheit temps, and just of the hill in the valley it will be popping into the 90's, we will barely edge into the 80s down here.  And it will be even cooler coast side.  Thanks to the fog.  Weak north west flow is the name of the game, keeping that grey on the coastal plain until well after noon.  Friday will be like today.  Mid 70s.  About 80F for a high both weekend days.  Then back into the 70s.  Overnight lows remain in the low 50s.  So pretty good planting and seedling weather.  Not great for mature plants wanting to bare fruit.  I've been pruning off my tomato flowers until I see a change in pattern.  I want them to put all their effort into growing big and strong.  Or at least wait until July.

Cans.  So much cooler than bottles.  

Speaking of gardens, with the drought and use restrictions, it is a good time to think about how you water your plants.  Drip irrigation is great, and once set up, minimal attention is required.  You don't need as much water during these foggy periods, because the plants pick up a lot of dew, and they lose less through transpiration.  You can adjust your program if it is automated, or sometimes, simply run it every other day.  If you are watering by hand, a can is usually best.  You really only want to water directly around the base of a plant.  This keeps excess water off the leaves, which can lead to disease or burning, and directs the water to the roots.  It also helps avoid geminating weed seeds that could be near by.  You can water by hose, and one of those shower extender things makes it easier.  Try to water early in the evening just before dark.  Or after dark if you have a head lamp.  With less wind, and sun, it gives the water a chance to better penetrate the soil and get to the roots.  Any water left on the surface will likely evaporate in the next day's sun.  The big secret is, it is totally worth it.  Produce takes a lot of water.  So does a shower.  But fresh from the garden cucumbers and tomato salad?  So worth it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More June Gloom, but there is good news as well...

Another grey morning today.  While yesterday seemed like low clouds, today feels more like summer fog.  I can't clearly see more than a few blocks away in the early morning din.  Things will likely pull out a bit later today, just like on Tuesday.  So, my best guess is clearing around noon.  Not much chance of strong north west winds developing.  In fact, we are in a bit of a SW flow.  The good news is this weather condition tends to warm up the ocean water by pushing surface water north from the south.   So there is that.  And even though when the north wests kick back up and the upwelling returns cold water back to the surface, the east side of town will keep some of that warmer water from this week in place.

Wondering if I should get on the Kusala one more time this season.

But the weather.  It is going to get foggier before it gets sunnier.  The SW eddy flow should continue as the pressure gradient is well north of here.  Thursday and Friday currently look like they will see little sunshine.  The good news is warmer air is moving into place, and we should be moving up through the 70s over the next few days.  Mornings will still be quite chilly.  Damn that grey.  And honestly, with the fog lingering through the day, it will be a cooler kind of mid 70s.  We don't push that grey away for the weekend, but there is the suggestion of maybe some earlier clearing as the air mass continues to warm.  Oddly, we will be in the 80s both days, with maybe even mid 80s for Sunday.  It looks like we may see stronger north west breezes by Tuesday or so next week.  But even the mid term forecast looks like we will be dealing with fog for some time to come.  So yeah, try not to get much water on the leaves of your plants.  Fight the fungus.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Warming through the week. Now, that is nice.

Holy cow, it feels chilly in the morning.  We always seems to have at least a few windows cracked during the non rainy season.  It is just nice to get that flow of fresh air through the home.  Hell, how lucky are we to live in a climate where that is even possible?  But the past few mornings have been chilly ones.  My son is all wrapped up in a blanket, and I am scanning the room for where I last through down my hoodie.  Partly, that is due to the fog.  We are also experiencing a cooler air mass.  Overnight lows have been chilly for a blanketed sky.  And the days are barely warming up to the 70s.  Today may not even get out of the 60s.  It is much warmer just up the hill.  Felton was a good ten degrees warmer yesterday.  We splashed around in the river.  And wore shorts.  Sure it was 5PM when I pulled back into town, but I immediately put on long pants and my hoodie.  No where the hell is that thing?

Are you missing the winter weather yet?  Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz.

Anyway, things could warm up a bit.  The marine layer is looking tricky to predict this week, as the resident high is shifting around a bit.  Something that is easier to predict is the return of a warmer air mass driving both overnight lows and afternoon high up.  80s by the weekend is not absurd, if we could keep that marine layer at bay.  But I don't really see that happening much.  It is June.  There is kind of a slack wind thing going on out there today, with a slight west flow on the ocean waters well off shore.  This is helping keep us cool.  High pressure, and northwest winds are back for tomorrow and Wednesday.  That means a marine layer that will burn off earlier and windy afternoons.  But we might get back into the slack wind or even eddy (or south) wind for later in the week.  The good news is warmer air will pump into the region pulling us slowly back up through the 70s.  So even though we might have fog lingering late through the day this coming weekend, the air will be warm, and when the sun does finally pop out, it will quickly warm, and we won't have a whole lot of wind to deal with.  Could be kind of nice.  And if the grey is getting to you, just seek higher ground.

Oh, I almost forgot.  The mid range forecast has rain for the PNW and the long range light rain down to the SF Bay area.  This is for about 12 days out.  Not having a whole lot of confidence in this, but something to monitor.  A June shower would be pretty nice.