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.