Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve

A little warmer out there this morning.  Only dropped to about 40F last night on the west side.  A bit cooler downtown.  But nothing like the past two mornings when it dropped down to freezing at our home.  The roof tops all around were crusted in white frost.  It almost had looked like it had snowed.  Almost.  We have a few more days of cold temperatures and dry times before we begin to see a shift back to a stormier, and slightly warmer, pattern.  Enjoy this sunshine while you can, as we are starting to see the engine of El Nino turning over.  It could be a very wet period coming up as storms begin to undercut the Rex Block to our north and west.  Let us look at some of the details.

Coverage is in at Kirkwood.  More snow coming for next week.  Game on.

Middle weekend, we begin to see a low pressure system develop to our west, displacing the high pressure just a bit to our north.  This first system will have a hard time moving ashore, and likely we will we see little, if any rain from this one.  Just some increasing winds on Sunday, as the storm looks like it will dive south and finally move east south of the border.  Northern Baja should get plenty of rain, with a little wrap around for SoCal.  Possibly a passing rain shower for us early Monday morning as the system bypasses the Central Coast.  But that is not all, as there is a second system hot on its tail and the door will have been pushed ajar by the first system.  That should allow number two to steam roll us.

The good news is it will be a little warmer.  The bad news is that it won't feel that way due to the lack of sunshine.  Rain looks like it should first show later in the day on Tuesday.  It will start off light, then turn moderate over night into Wednesday.  Then it should lighten up again overnight into Thursday.  And stick around through Friday, when we might see another short wave moving through.  Of course, all of this is still quite speculative at this point.  So, we will need to come back to these forecasts over the next few days.  Still, the general idea is that it will be a return to wetter weather next week.  Hope you enjoyed the sun.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lunch Break.

The sun is out there wight now.  A big swath of blue is out on the west side.  Nice time for a stroll to pick up some bread, a cup of coffee, or get yourself under the canopy in the Pogonip before more rain moves in.  We got a few tenths this morning, and are expecting a few more this evening.  Looking at the radar, there are more bands on the way.  Looking at the sky, it is still mostly grey.  I'd not expect this sun to last much longer than an extended lunch break.  Not quite a Don Draper lunch break, but like if you ask your boss for a little extra time because business is slow and the surf is up.  Not that it is today.  South winds have done their job of keeping families together today.  We are looking at an extended period of sunshine after this.  Sure, there are a few chances for a light sprinkle coming, but other than that, two weeks of sun sounds kind of nice.  More coming.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A quick break, then one more quick round.

Apologies for going off line.  I headed up to the mountains to weather out this storm, and was unable to get an internet connection to last more than a few minutes.  And I spent most of my free time, between schussing snow, with a shovel in my hand, dealing with the 54" inches of snow that fell.  Here in Santa Cruz we received over four inches of rain water since Friday night.  Not a shabby total.  This series of storms came in cold, and went out warm.  This has made an upside down snow pack in the Sierra, so if you ski tour, please use extreme caution.  Check out the Sierra Avalanche Center bulletin and maybe allow a few days for the pack to settle out.  For you resort skiers, expect a much thicker base the next time you venture out.  Now, for us here in Santa Cruz, here is what we can expect over the next few days.

The view the day after Thanksgiving.  Kusala Pows in fore ground.  Background now has six feet plus more snow.

Mild today, with some winds off the water.  I saw stars last night, so expect sun this morning.  It is in the low 40s across the west side and should warm up to the upper 50s today.  I'm not sure what it was like down here on the coast, but I know my family will appreciate a fair weather day.  We love snow storms, but after four days of white outs, it is nice to be able to see again.  But by tonight we will begin to see the rain moving in from the north with another bout of cold air.  Christmas Eve, otherwise known as Thursday, will be cold and wet.  And windy.  And gusty.  So, get your downtown errands done today.  Mid 50s.  Temp will drop into the upper 30s on Thursday night, and rain should finish up.  It currently looks like the heaviest rain will fall mid day.  About three fourths of an inch is expected.  Friday morning will be crisp.  Like 30F crisp.  As in it could actually drop below freezing.  With the sun coming out, Christmas Day (Friday) will be quite nice.  Mid 50s.

The weekend looks fair.   Saturday morning will be crisp.  Like 30F crisp.  As in it could actually drop below freezing. Mid 50s and more sun in the afternoon.  Sunday actually looks like a repeat of Saturday.  Perhaps a few more clouds as we see another system approaching from the north.  This one is expected to stay to our north, but we see a slight chance for rain on Monday.  After that, it looks like fair, mild weather through the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Faster, Wetter...

Another crisp morning.  Rain could arrive in Santa Cruz by evening.  It is already in Eureka and pushing into inland  NorCal.  Forecast amounts bumped up to half inch or more coming tonight into the morning hours.   A showery chance Saturday morning, then fair.  Sunday begins fair, but the next seven days we are expected to get two, or three, or four inches of precipitation.  At least it will be a bit warmer.  Maybe a short break Wednesday.  Details to follow.  Got to go make some breakfast.

Siena at sunset.  We should have a few nice ones, and a few wet ones, over the week.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wet Train A Coming.

The engine arrives late on Friday.  The next few days will be cool and fair.  Cold in the mornings.  It was below 35F for almost four and half hours this morning.  That is cold.  A few clouds tomorrow.  Not really any chance of rain here in town.  Maybe the best slope in the Santa Cruz Mountains will see a sprinkle or two.  A little warmer tomorrow.  Upper 50s, compared to today's mid 50s.  Finally feeling like a real winter around here.  Friday may warm up to 60F, but clouds will be filling in earnest by mid afternoon.  And then there will be rain.

It is finally starting to look like winter for the first time in four years.  Looking from Kirkwood to Round Top.

----Okay, so I started this post yesterday.  It is a degree warmer out there this morning.  35.4F.  Toasty, eh?  A warm front arrives today so we could be climbing into the 60s the next two days.  Yay!  And tomorrow morning won't be as cold.  Likely staying in the low 40s.  This morning it looks like rain will arrive overnight on Friday with the heaviest precipitation occurring from about 5AM through 10AM Saturday morning.  Not a whole lot.  Perhaps a third of an inch, with some more in the local mountains and along the Big Sur Coast.  Perhaps a half foot of snow for the Sierra.  The small system will bring a cold front, cooling things back off.  But the series of systems coming our way keeps us under some cloud cover, and nights will not be as cold.  Sunday should see some sun, and likely will be a gorgeous day.

The coming atmospheric river is slated to hit the coast on Monday.  The forecast for the Jet Stream is all over the place.  At times directly over us, at other directly over Vancouver.  That is quite a swing.  The further south it aims, the more rain we will see, and the cold the air.  But ultimately this is looking like a warm event.  We could begin to see more rain as early as Monday.  The models this morning, suggest that the bulk of this round is going to stay north of us, and then slowly shift south through Wednesday.  Increasing chances of rain through then.  I will tighten this forecast up, as models start to show agreement.  Where there is agreement is in the shaky ground one week out territory.  A cold wet storm is forecast to dive south on next Thursday and last through Friday.  The QPF for this system is looking impressive, with several inches falling along the coast.  We have not yet seen a super wet system, so this may be the one.  Nothing but practice rounds so far.  in fact, we may be looking at an extended rainy period taking us into the new year.  Hope your ready.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crisp, then warmer, then wetter...

Cold out there right now in the early morning hours.  36.6F to be exact.  Tomorrow morning will be even colder.  The day will be mild and stick in the upper 50s.  Still, it will feel much warmer than yesterday, with the sun coming out today.  By Thursday, we should see some warming and climb back up into the low 60s.  We also see some upper level clouds returning.  Lows climb into the low 40s. By Friday, the ceiling begins to lower  and we see a pretty good chance of rain coming on Saturday.  This one is looking like a very swift mover, and dropping maybe a third of an inch.  Nothing like yesterday's .86 inches that fell, but still a little more wet weather.  It should clear out of here for Sunday, but another several waves are hot on its heels.

Kirkwood looking tasty on Sunday after the first two feet of new snow.

Still way to far out to tell for sure, and each model run has slightly different ideas.  Sometime around next Monday a series of very wet storms could impact California.  We are looking at seven day QPF exceeding ten inches in the wettest locations, and several inches here in Santa Cruz.  SOmething to get ready for.  Luckily there won't be a lot of folks doing the commute as it will hit during the holiday week that many businesses are closed.  Keep an eye on these systems.  If they come, these are they type that knock out power, blow down trees, flood low lying areas and create general havoc.  More to come.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Raining today

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday.  I drove up to the snow to see how it looks.  Kirkwood now has opened Chair 10 and has all of its frontside terrain open for the season.  Best place to go for steep riding right now.  Anyway, I got home late, and tired.  So.  There is rain today.  Moving in much quicker than previously forecast.  I just took a look at the GFS, and based on that, we should expect showery weather during the day, with the heaviest rain coming after dark and through midnight.  Up to an inch and more in the mountains.   Rain clears out by morning, so while the  roads will be wet Monday morning, the windshield won't be so much.  Cool though.  This one has a much colder air mass associated with it.

Upper 50s today and clouds keep tomorrow morning from dipping much below 40.  Through Wednesday we stay in the 50s and see overnight lows dropping into the mid 30s and creeping toward that freezing mark.  It will be crisp for sure.  More to come.  Possible storm next weekend.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A little shy.

Yesterday we hit .48 inches of rain on King Street.  Today it is only recording .14.  So we are well shy of that one inch mark.  A nice day on Saturday with some clouds.  Enough to make it gorgeous out.  Cool, but with the sun shining, it will be warm by afternoon.  Get out there and enjoy the day.  The surf is huge and burley.  Waterfalls are flowing.  The forest will be alive.  The butterflies will come out.  Rain returns by Sunday evening.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I'm listening to a report on the emergency preparedness of the Bonny Doon community.  It makes for a nice El Nino story, for sure.  In fact, there is some indication that the El Nino pattern will kick into gear later this month.  For now, we will need to suffer through these mellow, cooler storms.  A third of an inch here on the west side so far.  Rain began around 5AM, and lasted through 7:30.  There are more bands out there, so I don't think we are done with this wave.  Watch the sky, and be ready for showers and rain throughout the day.  Kind of expect the heaviest, most sustained rains are behind us for today.  We have already received 2/3  of the forecast amount for Thursday.  Cool air is moving in with the front, so we won't see much warmer beyond the 57F we have right now.

 GFS still forecasting another band arriving tomorrow morning.  I'd be willing to gamble that it too will arrive a little early, and before sunrise.  NOAA is calling for lighter totals tomorrow, but not their model.  Regardless, it should start off wet.  A break for Saturday.  It will definitely be worth getting out.  The local  mountains will get enough to get the waterfalls going again.  There will be puddles to stomp.  Perhaps enough cloud break to make for a wonderful sunrise and sunset.  And with more rain on the way, along with increasing  confidence in prolonged rain, take every moment you get to get out and about this winter.  It is going to be a big one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

48 Hours.

It will be warm tonight, with temps staying in the 50s in town.  Current forecast is for rain to push south along the coast, arriving in Santa Cruz sometime between sunrise and noon, with the heaviest rain in the afternoon and until dark.  Lighter amounts overnight.   The day will be blustery, with strong southwest winds and temps only warming into the very low 60s.  Cozy up. Maybe a half inch of rain, but favored to the south facing mountain slopes.  Clouds overnight, but not much rain, with a low in the mid 40s, thanks to the cold front that moves through during the day.    Another wave is lined up for Friday morning, bringing another half inch through the day.  And while things do dissipate after noon, there could still be some showers into the evening.  Cooler, but not as windy.  Highs in the upper 50s.  So, that is about the next 48 hours.

Plenty more snow coming for this location on the Sierra Ridge.  Up to six feet some are saying.

I'll briefly speak of the weekend and storm to come.  Saturday is looking like a nice day, without a good chance of rain.  Another, colder system is still slated for late Sunday.  Have you replaced your wind shied wipers yet this season?  Might be worth the investment.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Not much change this evening.  It is going to rain Thursday.  Read yesterday's post if you wish.  Models do have it arriving perhaps a little earlier, and bring perhaps a bit more rain.  But not a whole lot of change.  Rain could begin overnight Wednesday, into Tuesday morning.  You should be prepared for rain by know.  Slickers and such.  Yard picked up.  It will be windy Thursday, with southwesterly gusts.  As it is now, we have wet weather through the Tuesday, with perhaps not rain on Saturday.  Then more is forecast to come in next Friday.  So, yeah, rain is on the way.  I misspoke yesterday when I evoked El Nino, as these things, as pointed out elsewhere, are cold.  More of the La Nina varietal.  Anyway, be ready for rain.  More details tomorrow.

Round Top on Thanksgiving.  About to get several more feet of snow.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gravy Train.

We are now less than three days out until the beginning of a series of storms like we have not seen in years.  Depending on how you look at things, with just a little bit of luck, we will be very wet around these parts through the end of the year.  If memory serves me right, December of 2012 was pretty wet.  Too bad the rest of the year was not.  But let's take a look at the next week.  Tuesday looks great.  Similiar to today.  A fine autumn day.  Mid 60s with some sunshine.  It will feel nice when the sun is out.  Upper 40s for morning lows the next few days.  Right now it looks like rain will push south into Marin County late on Wednesday, waiting until the early morning hours to push through Santa Cruz.  And it should stick around through the bulk of the day.  Commutes are likely not going to be fun on Thursday.  Colder air arrives with the storm.  Low 60s.

This zone may be filled nicely come next Tuesday.

Currently the outlooks if for some sporadic lingering showers on Friday.  Cloud cover will the morning from getting too cold.  Mid 40s, warming only into the upper 50s.  But dry through the mid to later part of the day.  So, that is round one.  As of today's GFS, a wave pushes through Saturday, during the day, bringing more light rain.  And then we see a break in the evening through the middle of the day Sunday, when an even colder storm dives down from the north.  Current models runs have this one just far enough west to pick up copious amounts of moisture, and we could see moderate to heavy rain late Sunday and into Monday morning.  Another bummer commute time.  Showers could linger through Tuesday, or Wednesday even.  With another cold storm trying to line us up for the following Friday.  And another on the 23rd.  So, yeah, a gravy train.

Nothing is for certain yet.  Big surf again on Tuesday.  Still plenty of size left for Wednesday.  Rain for Thursday.  Maybe a break Friday.  Rain Saturday.  About an inch here in town by then.  Another half inch coming Sunday night.  Two inches plus in the local mountains.  Four to six inches (which is just about that many feet of snow) along part of the Sierra Crest.  Perhaps ten inches or more in the bullseye in Del Norte County.  Best looking water outlook we have seen in a while.  Not just based on those numbers, but the look of things to come.  El Nino is trying to bust down the down.  Let us wish him luck.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Big Swell.

As a kid, when we would see an abnormally large set coming our way, one of us would yell, "tsunami swell!"  And we would all scratch for the horizon.  Given this was in southern Maine, it was likely not exceeding eight feet.  The waves that are arriving this evening was of a whole different caliber.  West Cliff may not be huge on Monday, as the bulk of the energy is coming from the north, but it will be plus sized.  Big long period swell is arriving overnight.  One of the bigger swells we have scene in years.  Go on down and enjoy the show, but always stay a safe distance from the water.  And never turn your back on the ocean.  She will whip you.  Swell should peak in the morning hours, along with the high tide.  Expect some coastal flooding and erosion tomorrow.  As the tide pulls out, the swell will still remain large, and there could be some solid surf in the afternoon.  Again, this is the real deal, so use your head.  Know if you belong out in the waves.  Ig you are looking for something a little bit more manageable, there is a mile of points east of 41st Avenue that will have less size.  But, then again, it will be much larger in that zone than typical.  And there are a few spots that can toss you onto the reef.  So, again, use your head.

A fun day in August.  Monday is going to be much, much, much larger.

Other than that, not a whole lot to report.  Thursday still looks wet.  Sunday does as well.  There was a model run this afternoon that made it look like it would stay north, but moved back toward a wet solution on the 18hr run.  Fine tuning as we get closer, but rain arriving late morning Thursday.  Half inch plus in town.  Inch plus in the hills.  By Friday afternoon.  Heavy showers Thursday afternoon.  Could be a bad evening commute.  Showers lasting into Friday.  We could see the sun return on Saturday and offer a nice day.  Mild.  Even Sunday could begin fair, but a colder, slightly drier storm could push down from the north during the day.  Rain likely in the evening, through Monday morning.  But more on that later.  Look for some big surf tomorrow and an epically splashy sunset.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A brushing, then a busting.

Moderate chance for some light showers tomorrow as the current system coming ashore in the PNW brushes up against us.  Light accumulations are all that are expected locally.  As in measuring in hundredths of an inch.  And we see a continuation of this mild weather.  Clouds should clear by evening, and we might even see some sun to start the work week.  In fact, temps will warm back up into the mid 60s through Wednesday.  Could be several pleasant days before the train arrives.

Kind of missing those warm summer day we had in 2015.

The models have all been pumping up the Thursday system over the last 24 hours.  We will want to watch what the next 48 hours of runs bring before we start to call for heavy rain, but it certainly looks like we could be seeing some decent rain fall.  Timing currently looks like it should begin some time Thursday morning.  Another cold front will knock the temps down to the low 60s Thursday, and likely upper 50s on Friday.  Showery weather continues, and it looks like another system will be hot on its heels arriving sometime Saturday. There will barely be a day's break after that, if the models are right, with more storms arriving Wednesday and next Friday.  Of course we are getting out into the fantasy land there, but it is starting to look like an El Ni no fueled pattern with warmer storms coming in off the ocean.  Until that next Friday one.  That is looking like another Alaska system, as in bringing in more cold air.  Likely not as cold as the one that arrive just before Thanksgiving.  But hard to tell at this point.  Get ready for some rain.

But for now, enjoy the mild weather and solid surf.  Surf has been subsiding since yesterday, but another large pulse of surf is expected to arrive Sunday evening.  This one looks even bigger than the last and we could be seeing some ten foot at seventeen second period swell.  That is Mavs big, and that break will probably be pushing some 25 footers Monday morning.  West Cliff will be well OH, with plenty of DOH surf.  Even bigger at Middle Peak.  Even the east side of town will be seeing some real size with this one.  And there is more out the back, arriving on Wednesday, but by Thursday surface conditions will take a big hit.  So get it while it is good.  And stay tuned.  Storms are just around the corner.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

'bout a quarter inch

Just about a quarter inch around here on the west side.  A good half inch once you get yourself up into the local mountains.  Almost an inch of rain fell in San Lorenzo Park near Boulder Creek.  Quarter inch around Watsonville.  Seemed like this round really favored the hills.  It came down pretty good near my house, starting at about 11AM until just before noon.  It took a break, and then it came down in sheets for five or ten minutes just before 1PM.  It was an impressive torrent.  Clouds are still thick as of 8PM, and we could see a few light showers, especially on the slopes, before it wraps itself up tonight.  Westerlies are blowing this evening, but should lighten by morning.  So should the cloud cover.  Tomorrow looks nice with mostly sun, and warming up to the low 60s.

A cooler morning on Saturday, due to the clear sky, but we should be looking at mid 40s and low 60s as the range as we look into next week.  Maybe a passing shower Sunday afternoon.  Another chance again Wed/Thurs of next week.  And another chance on Friday.  Definitely worth monitoring.  Tomorrow looks like a powder day for Tahoe.  Places like Kirkwood, that already have a solid base, will be riding nice Friday.  A warm up on Saturday will take its toll on quality of surface conditions, but with more showers in the forecast, it should not matter too much.  We still need to build that base.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


The storm tomorrow will not stick around long.  There is still some vacillating of the models, shifting the bulk of the rain back and forth between the coast and the Sierra.  Kind of warmish out there today, but with increased cloud cover, it sure feels mild.  A warmish night, with the lows hanging in the mid to upper 40s.   Thursday will feel chilly though, and see little warming.  Rain is likely, with the greatest chance in the afternoon.  It is also likely that the rain will be moderate, but brief.  The bulk of this system will be to our north and, to a certain degree, to our east.  Heaviest rains expected on the west slope and foothills of the Sierra.  NOAA has a winter snow warning up, with accumulations up to 15 inches at pass level.  Back to us in Santa Cruz, the rain is likely to be over by evening.  The commute will definitely have wet roads, but you may not need worry about driving in the rain.  Certainly it will clear up over night, with the clouds clearing out through Wednesday morning.  And we return to placid, crisp weather.

Currently it looks like the storm arriving next Monday will be deflected north.  There has been some talk by a few forecasters about the RRR (Ridiculously Resilient Ridge*) re-affirming itself, but I think that is just hogwash.  Yes, there is a ridge, but it sure ain't the RRR.  First, things are actually breaking through this one.  Second, it is set up well east of the RRR, and actually centered over land.  Third, that is not at all unusual for this part of the season.  It is barely December.  Even in big winters, it is not uncommon for the first rain/snow to hold off until now.  But, whatever, it does block the system arriving to start next week.  But not so much the one that is expected to arrive late next week.

Until then, Thursday looks stormy, but from Friday through the middle of next week, it looks mild.  Friday and Saturday morning will see lows in the low 40s, but that rises to upper 40s by the start of the work week.  Afternoon highs bounce around the low to mid 60s.  Another chance of rain next Thursday.  And a slight chance on Monday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Droughts are hard to break.  The represent several seasons of lower than average rain and snow fall.  The one we are currently in is quite exceptional, and we are far from seeing any significant dents in it.  The good news is that we have seen slight improvements since the start of the water year.  The bad news is that we have only seen slight improvements since the start of the water year.  99.86 percent of the state is in drought, but (looking for a silver lining) we have seen a drop of over 10% for regions effected by what is called Exceptional Drought, or D4, as compared to one year ago.  So, at least we are slowly moving in a the right direction.  What is interesting is that so far this year most of the excess water has fallen south of us.  That is due mostly to the odd tropical incursions into SoCal we saw during the summer.  NorCal has seen less than normal amounts of water so far tis water year.  Hopefully all that is about to change as we see a number of systems lining up that should effect the state to our north.  In the meantime, we are getting ready for some rain to arrive later this week in Santa Cruz.

Surf is up.  Get out there and enjoy.  Respect the ocean, and use caution.  Swift Street.

Not a whole lot of change in the forecast.  Models are shifting all over the place.  Confidence is high that we will receive rain on Thursday.  Confidence is low regarding timing and amounts.  Rain is likely mid day Thursday.  Possible as early as Wednesday evening and into Friday morning.  Amounts range from .1 to one inch.  So a lot of variables.  Hopefully we can see the models agree on a solution by tomorrow, so we can update the forecast.

Swell is pumping out there right now.  A moderate long period swell is providing overhead surf for West Cliff, and DOH to DOH plus surf at locations west and north of town.  A light east wind is keeping the swell very clean.  This is a solid, powerful swell.  If it is beyond your skill set, please play it safe, and stay ashore.  On the other hand, if if you like solid waves, get out there and get some.  The water is warmer than the air right now, do don't be dissuaded by the cold.  Things will begin to settle down a bit today, but conditions remain epic through mid day Wednesday.  Don't wait until Thursday, though, as the approaching front will add a lot of junk and multiple swells to the water.  New swell and improving conditions for Friday and into the weekend.  Get some.

Monday, November 30, 2015

So, it rained.

Just a few drops on the wind shield this morning, but it actually rained a bit just now.  Maybe a few more drops through the evening.  The clouds are heavy out there.  And it is cool.  With very little sunshine, things are not warming up much today.  Not much changed from the forecast a few days ago, except that the splitting storm coming ashore is dragging a bit more moisture with it.  Clouds will be thick today.  Those same clouds will allow for less cold due to radiational cooling tonight.  Yay!  It won't be frigid.  As for Thursday, different models have different solutions.  All wet.  Some wetter than others.  It will take another day or two to settle on a forecast.  In the meantime, still plan for light to moderate rain arriving on Thursday.  Just want to note the latest model runs are a bit wetter and a bit cooler than previous runs.  Something to note.

Looking out into the mid and long term, we see a series of cooler storms with limited moisture lining up.  Feeling more like CO than CA recently.  I'll get a more comprehensive look at things up tomorrow.  In the meantime, stay warm, and enjoy the warmer weather on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stubborn Cold.

I've got one.  Seems like it has been a slight pest for weeks.  And it look s like the cold is going to stick around.  The mornings are likely to see readings in the upper 30s through Monday morning.  We might ease up to 60F on Monday.  It won't be rainy though.  The next system will basically just keep us cold.  If you prefer warmer days, then Tuesday and Wednesday will be the ones for you.  Lows will still be cold, but at least the will rise into the low 40s.  Afternoons will feel warmer, as they rise into the mid 60s.  Then we are looking at another possible storm for Thursday.

We are still six days out, but models are aligning to a wet solution.  Currently it looks like rain, and more cold weather, moving in midday Thursday.  Not as cold as this week, but cool enough.  Overnight lows will likely stay in the low 40s, but afternoon highs will drop to about 60F on Thursday, and back down into the upper 50s for Friday and the weekend.  Basically we are going to see a continuation of this crisp, wintery weather.  Now, strong El Nino winters tend to be wetter than average, but also warmer than average.  So we should not expect to see this cold to stick around too long.  But we can expect some wetter periods to increase.  Think of these once a week a storms as practice.  If you have not already, get your rain gear dialed.  Winter seems to be here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cold and dry through the weekend, and then...

It is cold in Santa Cruz.  The temp dropped to 35.2F at 4:20AM on the west side this morning.  It finally warmed up to a whopping 52F this afternoon.  At least there was some sun shining.  Expect another cold morning on Friday.  And again on Saturday.  The days will warm up a bit more.  If you are headed to the snow tomorrow or this weekend, it is quite colder up in the Sierra.  Lows will be in the single digits and teen, with the highs in teens and low twenties. Cloud cover with breaks of sun, and chances for flurries will keep the snow surface in great condition.  The roads, on the other hand, are quite slick.  Be careful driving at elevations above 3000 feet, as black ice and slick roads will be the name of the game.  And if you are even driving around the local SC Mountains before sunrise the next few days, exercise caution.  It will be slick.

Sunday will still be cold, but lows will be in the upper 30s, and low 40s for Monday morning.  So we are warming a bit.  We will soar back into the low 60s to start the work week, and mid 60s by Wednesday.  Balmy.  What you want to keep on your radar is a chance for rain on Monday.  There is not a whole lot of agreement with the models, but the GFS is forecasting and undercutting low.  We see a chance for rain again on Thursday, and again the following week.  These storms are the first yet this year that are El Nino type storms.  Weak ones, but warm, mid latitude ones.  Something to watch.  The models should converge on a solution over the next few days for at least the start of next week.  In the meantime, bundle up, sip hot cider and stay cozy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More rain, less cold.

Still not a whole lot of rain, or all that much warmth.  Still, looking at the charts this morning, it will be a little less chilly, and a little wetter.  It is drizzling outside right now, but the bulk of this system is still well north, around the OR/CA border at 7AM this morning.  It is moving slowly south and the cold front should pass through Santa Cruz mid day.  The heaviest rain should fall with the passage of the front.  The low then moves east, only to be blocked by a high pressure.  It then might retrograde, and spin another round of showers off the ocean later tonight and through mid day on Wednesday.  Lows expected in the mid to upper 30s and highs in the upper 50s.  When the sun comes out for Thanksgiving, it could hit 60F, and actually feel nice and warm.

These guys are back.  Wait for some warmth and then the sun to hit them.

Jury is still out on undercutting for more rain over the coming weekend.  And models are now leaning toward possibility of heavy rain for the middle of next week.  Welcome to the winter.

If you are out on the roads today and tomorrow, please be careful.  Pavement will be wet, and potentially icy as low at 2500 feet.  Heading up into Tahoe will be slow going with plenty of blowing snow, low visibility and  black ice.  Slow down, and take your time.  If you are staying here in town, bundle up.  Might be a great day for a walk (or a run to warm up) on Thursday.  Enjoy the holiday.

EDIT.  .38" and counting.  Rain came in around 9AM.  Another band is forming offshore of NorCal and should rotate through Central Cal this evening.  A break in the rain currently, with some patches of blue on the west side.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The next 72 hours...

Things, they keep on changing.  It is warm out there this morning in the low to mid 50s.  The trend to a wetter solution continued with the model runs overnight.  Here is what the next three days are projected to look like.  Milder today, but still sunny with relatively light winds.  The NW winds associated with the approaching cold front begin to pick up late in the day.  Cloud cover increases through the evening.  There is a very slight chance of rain before sunrise on Saturday.  Temps will dip down into the mid 40s.  Rain becomes likely by noon.  Down here on the coast, the precipitation will be patchy and sporadic.  Wide spread rain could happen as the front passes through mid to late afternoon, and daytimes highs halt in the mid 50s.  As the front passes south winds really pick up behind it.  Pick up your stuff, as we could see gust to 30 mph or higher here in town.

There will be a break in precipitation as we move toward night fall, but a second round sweeps through in the early morning hours.  Cloud cover keeps us warm overnight, with lows again in the mid 40s.  Showers to start off the day on Wednesday.  Otherwise, cloudy and cool, in the mid 50s.  By evening we could see some breaks in the sky allowing for an awesome sunset.  Thanksgiving morning will be chilly, although warmer than expected than a few days ago.  Upper 30s.  That over water trajectory keeps some of the very cold weather and strong winds at bay.  It also gives us up to a half inch of rain here in town, with a bit more on the hillside.

When the weather clears, look south across the bay.  Some of the peaks of the Santa Lucia are high enough to get snow capped with this system.  It now looks like freezing levels will stay above 2500' here on the coast.  We stay cold through the weekend, with upper 30 and upper 50s, with a chance of breaking 60F on Sunday.  Bundle up.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Okay, so waffles...

The past three runs have moved the center of the low west, allowing for a wetter solution.  Not deluge wet, but wetter.  Real good news for mountain snow.  Accumulations still look lighter in town, but the local hillsides could collect some decent amounts of water.  Freezing levels drop from about 7000 feet on Tuesday morning to just about 3400' feet in the afternoon here on the coast.  This is the period with the greatest likelihood of rain.  As few peaks pass that elevation, there will not be a big chance for local snowy peaks.  Although, if precipitation continues overnight, we could see the freezing level drop down below 1500', and in the morning, the bay would be rime rimed.

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is open on Black Friday.  Have a season pass?  Bring a friend for free.

Hard to call this one, as the models keep going back and forth.  But the odd thing is that different models are tending to coordinate their changing prognosis.  The Canadian and Euro back peddled to the wetter solution yesterday, and the GFS was coming on board by evening.  I'll keep watching to see if they have settled on the current track, will move further west and deliver a cold deluge, or shift back east and dry us out and deliver a very strong cold wind.  Keep tuned.  Oh, and that undercutting system we saw a few days ago?  Yup, it is back in the game.  So we could see a second round of rain, albeit much warmer, for the weekend.  As of now, the holiday looks quite nice, with a very crisp morning and mild afternoon.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bonanza. And the Crash.

A beautiful warm autumn day on tap out there.  Absolutely stunning with temps soaring into the mid 70s across many parts of town.  A reading of 73F on West Cliff, 78F on Walnut/King, and a whopping 83F reported in Scotts Valley at 1:35PM on November 21st.  Toasty.  Try to get outside today and tomorrow to enjoy some of this fine, fine weather.  Sunday should be just as awesome.  Oh my goodness this is some nice weather.  Next system upstream is poised to begin effecting our region as early as Monday.  The only thing you will notice that is different on Monday, is that the afternoon high will be more seasonable, and in the upper 60s.  We do need to be reasonable.  And don't worry, things will average out for the week to be much, much colder than normal.

Not cooler, colder.  Seriously cold.  Like cold snap in February cold.  As in freezing cold.  In the local hills, where the days time high will be a bit warmer than it is on the coastal plain, and the night time lows a bit cooler, we could see a swing of over 60 degree Fahrenheit from this afternoon through Thursday morning.  Yup, as in dropping into the upper 20s.  So.  Today I was chatting it up about how it might snow in Santa Cruz next week.  Not likely to happen.  Here is what is likely to happen.

This wonderful high pressure that we are enjoying this weekend, will cruise on up and out toward Alaska, allowing a cold arctic low pressure to move south behind it on Monday.  Our temps will cool a bit, but this system will still be in the very north eastern portion of the Gulf of Alaska.  Unfortunately (if you like snow and rain), the high is not headed to Kodiak, and more toward Seward, and the low pressure will move across land well before getting to California.  Because of that we will see very light precipitation here in town.  We are still three days out, and these storm tracks can easily shift a few hundred miles.  A few hundred miles west, and we get the center over water, and we get hammered with cold rain, and local snow.  How cool would that be?

But what looks like is going to happen (and all the models have trended in this direction over the last 36-48 hours) is that we will see a cold front arrive on Tuesday with some very light and sporadic showers.  And cold air.  Highs do not get out of the upper 50s.  Overnight lows drop to about 40F.  Wednesday we see continued chances for showers and a cold day with the high in the mid 50s.  Thursday morning will see near freezing temperatures in town.  Let us call it 35F.  It stays cold through Friday with highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s.

With some luck we will see a bit of snow fall on the local mountains, but it will probably be washed around by any mid day rain on Wednesday.  Currently it does not look like it will precipitate on Wednesday night, but if it does, it could set the Monterey Bay up for a spectacular Thanksgiving Day sunrise.  Nothing better than a snow rimmed bay.

I'll do my best over the next few days to track this and post up.  Likely I'll be brief with updates, as I'll be busy preparing for the holiday.  It is one of our favorites.  Getting together with family and eating is what we do best.  Oh, and if suddenly this things takes a big turn to the wetter side, I will be certain writing about it.  Go out and enjoy this gorgeous Santa Cruz weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Big changes coming for the holiday week.

Well, there are two things that are for certain.  First, that it will be getting much colder by the middle of next week, and second, that this coming weekend will have some stellar weather.  We will start with the next few days.  Mild morning out there right now, with temps hanging in the upper 40s.  They will shortly move into and through the 50s, with a high today in the upper 60s.  The weekend looks even warmer, with many areas of town moving into the lower 70s.  This is not a major warming event, so expect areas directly on the ocean to be a bit cooler.  Still, very nice.  Throw in a nice off shore flow and all that we are missing are the waves.  Not much for those this coming weekend.  Just some weak, small, northerly wind swell, but at least it will be clean.  And really, it won't matter that much as the weather will be just perfect autumnal bliss.  Monday will be similiar, but a touch cooler with highs in the mid to upper 60s ahead of a cold front that will arrive on Tuesday.

Good weekend for riding the Dipper coming up.

And it will be a very cold front.  Models keep flipping and the last four runs (24 hours) have brought the lows center more over land, picking up much less water.  Essentially, this would be a much dryer pattern for us.  But still very cold.  We are now 4-6 days out, so the models will begin to settle on a solution.  We will need to watch the next 36 hours of model runs closely.  By Sunday we should have a good idea of what this storm is going to look like.  We need water, and I want more snow, so I hope for a wet solution.  Those of you entertaining in your homes, or traveling on Wednesday, perhaps prefer a dryer solution.  What is for certain is that it is going to get cold.  By Tuesday, the high in Santa Cruz will barely get into the 60s.  Wednesday and Thanksgiving will stay in the mid to upper 50s.  Lows will drop into the 30s by Thanksgiving morning.

This will be the coldest weather of the year yet.  Be sure to make sure your heater works.  Protect your plants, even if you do not live in a frost prone area.  As this thing develops, we might see even colder air. I would not be totally surprised if you have some snow in your yard come Thursday morning.  What a Thanksgiving treat.  Likely the local mountains will have a snow cap.

At this point, I am going to hold off on any prediction about when rain will start, how long it will last and how much we will get.  I'll just point out that the period from late Monday night through Thursday morning all have potential for rain.  And as it stands now, it looks like the warm, wet system for next weekend will fall apart before coming ashore south of us.  Something to watch.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Confidence building exercises

We are up in the mountains this morning.  Needed to take a day to play in the snow and stack some wood at my friend's cabin.  It is winter up here, but today will be a mild one.  Nice sun.  Watching, watching, watching the models for next week.  Yesterday, the noon and 6pm runs sowed a return of a blocking that keeps the warm rain offshore the weekend after Thanksgiving.  They also suggested a later onset to the rain, and less of it.  But a hell of a lot of coldness.  Like maybe freezing levels on the local hills cold.  Anyway, the 6am run is looking still quite cold, but with heavier precip.  Given the latest data, rain would start mid day on Tuesday, stay steady through Wednesday afternoon, with showery weather for the holiday.  Oh, and that warm storm finally gets under the high for Sunday.  But by then it will be a little less wet, and a little less warm.  Time will tell, but confidence is building for a wet solution middle of next week.  Cool, eh?

Little peeler at Crescent Beach, Wells, Maine.

Approaching 70F today,  Might not quite get there, but it will be close.  Even closer on Friday.  No real change to the outlook through Monday.  Stay tuned as we could be seeing some fun weather less than a week out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


There is not much of a point looking too closely at the details of the projected storm for next week at this time.  We are still 6-7 days out.  That range is due to the fact the projected arrival time vacillates a bit from run to run.  The important thing is that they continue to remain wet.  So that is part of the news.  I think I'll take advantage of this break in the excitement to talk about something else.  For now, the forecast track remains the same.  This morning the low was just about 44F on the west side.  Chilly, but not too cold.  Upper 60s this afternoon and for the rest of the week, with a chance of very low 70s Thursday through Saturday.  Then back into the upper 60s Sunday and Monday.  After that we will be looking at the possibility of a developing heavy rain event.

The beach life.  A little chilly out there right now, so hope this warms you up.  4 Mile Beach, Santa Cruz.

What I wanted to do is briefly look at the past three storms.  There has been a lot of talk of an El Nino winter, and many people think that it has started.  The general assumption is that the trend of rain once a week was fuels by the baby boy.  Not true.  The fact is that during the last month the El Nino signal had been suppressed by other influences, and it was this suppression that allowed for some early season rain.  Typically a strong El Nino will bring very heavy and concentrated rains, but not until the core of the winter.  As in January through March.  That is not to say that an El Nino can't bring rain earlier, and in fact I am watching a system to arrive late next week that carries the El Nino signature.  It is warm and coming in from the west at lower latitudes.  Some model runs have this bulldozing us next weekend and others keep it blocked by a high pressure bank until it weakens significantly.  At ten days out it is only a curiosity.  But the point is, there were other factors at play the last few weeks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

36 hours in agreement, 7 days out.

When you see a significant shift in a certain model run, you often expect the subsequent run to revert to the previous forecast.  The past six runs of the GFS have all suggested that a strong, wet, and cold system will move down the coast early next week, bringing heavy rain and snow around next Wednesday.  The busiest travel day of the year.  Hurrah.  Now, we are still seven days out and that is a very long time from now, especially in a shoulder season.  But the rain gods have been with us recently, so I think that is enough to not worry too much about the science.  We will likely see rain.

We remain with the forecast detailed yesterday, for this work week.  We still are expecting to hit 70F on Friday.  Maybe lingering into Saturday.  Mild to warm.  Mellow winds.  Mostly sunny skies, but with just enough high clouds to make those sunsets pop.  Looking out the window right now and the light is sick.  A little cooler going into Sunday and Monday, with more clouds, and possibly torrents of rain for Tuesday.  Stay tuned.  Especially if you are planning for travel next week.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cold enough?

Hope so, as things only warm up from this morning.  Which was cold. In case you did not notice.  Not quite as cold at the cold one last week.  39.9F was the early morning reading.  A full 1.1 degree warmer than last week.  Cozy, right?  Anyway, things warm up from there.  It is almost 60F out there right now.  I doubt we see much more warming than that for today.  A very clear sky and some very brisk NW winds.  It feels wintery.  The ocean is a deep blue with frothing white caps.  But things only get warmer from here.  Tomorrow we will be back in the mid 60s.  Wednesday may be a bit cooler again, due to low pressure moving through to our north and suppressing warming.  Not as cold as today though.  Then we start a nice warming trend through Friday which may actually see a temperature resembling 70F.  Things are a bit questionable beyond that.

Near Westerly in summer.

Currently it looks like continued dry and mild weather through the Thanksgiving holiday, although there has been some interesting model runs recently that suggest something very different.  The high pressure that filled in today will eventually travel north, and possibly west this coming weekend.  A slight shift and we see slightly cooler, and still clear, weather.  As it shifts further, we get more cold.  And if it slips far enough a cold trough could dig in south behind it.  The noon GFS showed this with a very wet system arriving next Tuesday evening and pounding the region into Thursday.  So there is that.  More to come.  For now, cool, crisp and dry with a bit of warming each day (yeah, except the anomaly Wednesday) through the week.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Inside, Outside, Upside Down

It has been feeling a little that way recently.  More rain on the way.  Forecast totals ticked up again today.  It is looking like a solid We could be seeing totals in town hit a half inch, with possibly more on favorable mountain slopes.  The past two storms have found the slope in my yard favorable.  Saturday will be nice, if a bit cooler than today.   Saturday evening the winds will pick up out of the south west.  Rain moves down the coast overnight, along with a cold front with strong north west winds behind it.  It will be a wet, brisk morning on Sunday.  This thing should move through quickly and we could see rain turn to showers during the morning with the weather breaking by afternoon.  Afternoon highs in the low 60s.  I'd expect to see a gorgeous sunset on Sunday.  Monday will be a drier day, with fewer clouds, but will certainly start brisk again.  We may see temps dip back down into the upper 30s again.

October Wednesday evening on West Cliff Drive.

So, not exactly the same timing as the past two storms, but we need only look ahead a week to see another one schedule for next Sunday/Monday.  Between then and now, we will see the day time highs warm back up into the upper 60s and lows into the upper 40s.  Sunshine, and in general, nice high pressure calmness starting Tuesday.  A storm mid-week heads through to our north.  It was once forecast to hit us hard.  Likely it will stay north, but something to watch.  But it will be what keeps us from warming into the 70s.  It kind of feels like it is time to pull out my tomato plants.  Things are ripening very slowly with this sort of weather.

A decent sized long period swell arrive tomorrow and builds through the day.  Stay away from the water if you are not serious about your ocean skills.  It might be nice to go watch those you do feel comfortable in surf at sunset when the tide is out and the pints in town are going off.  By Sunday those stiff southwest followed by northwest winds are going to make a mess of things.  The surf could still be decent in the well protected corners of town, but it will have taken a beating from those winds.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

While we avoid Armageddon, Seattle may not.

When crazy numbers get thrown out there by computer models, it is often best to question their validity.  So when the GFS forecasts 18.8" of rain for the area just north of Seattle, and 24.3" for the Olympic Peninsula, I question them.  Regardless of their pure accuracy, a shit ton of rain is going to fall in the PNW over the next week.  Way down here in Santa Cruz we will receive a much more manageable amount. Yesterday's forecast is still on track, with the only update being that it looks like the rain will likely begin to fall by Saturday evening.  Something to monitor, because if it speeds up any more we could be having rain during the day.  The GFS has us between a quarter and a half inch right now.  Actually looking at the lower side of that.  But based on the last minute changes to the last two systems, we know a lot can change in a few days.

Five major ski resorts, plus Rose and Boreal are opening this weekend.  It is time to get your schuss on.  If you are heading up, please remind yourselves that it is early season, with lots of snow snakes and other hazards out there.  Play it safe.  It is going to be a nice, long, good season.  Don't go replacing an ACL before turkey day.  Also this weekend, we see another decent long period swell arriving.  That looks fun, but with the weather arriving late Saturday, conditions could be a challenge.   More on the approaching system tomorrow.  Get out there today and enjoy the outdoors.  We hiked the Pogonip yesterday and it was gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Steady as she goes.

Not warming up quite as much as once thought.  It will be pretty cold again tomorrow morning.  Just after sunrise this morning, a temperature reading at King St & Mesa on the west side bottomed out at 38.3F.  One in Scotts Valley dropped to 34.5F.  Expect some more of the same tomorrow, with it being perhaps a few degrees cooler, especially in the hills.  On the other hand, the afternoon should be quite a bit warmer.  Today many areas struggled to reach the upper 50s.  Tomorrow we could be enjoying mid 60s.  Friday should be even warmer.  Yay!  But that does not look like it will last long, as more cold air and rain drive south late this coming weekend.

More slots.

Models are not aligned on a solution for this coming week.  It looks likely that we will see another system arriving sometime on Sunday.  Suffice to say we should see some increased clouds.  And more cold air.  This air mass does look a little warmer than the one that arrived this past Monday, but by this coming Sunday we should see the daytime high drop back into the lower 60s.  This one looks drier and swifter than last week's.  Forecast will need to adjust prior to then, but right now it looks like we should see some light to moderate showers on Sunday afternoon and evening, with most of the rain clearing east by Monday morning.  Clouds and cold to start the work week, with clearing for Tuesday.  As to what happens mid week, every model and every run has a different idea.  Some keep a storm to our north, while others see us getting pounded.  Pattern stays active regardless, with the storm train just getting started.  All aboard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Groundhog Day.

Long range models suggested that we would see a slow start to the rainy season this year, with the torrents of El Nino holding off until about the New Year.  Not that we have seen much in the way of torrents, the past two small and weak storms have sure done a good job of over producing.  But what is striking is not how much rain fell in short periods of time, but more how both the storms had very similiar timing, with some weather arriving on Sunday, and the heaviest rain falling on Monday morning.  Looks like we could be looking at a three-peat.  In the meantime, lets talk about the weather.

Just over one inch of rain fell on the west side of Santa Cruz over the past 48 hours.  A nice showing seeing that the NOAA and GFS forecast runs on Saturday evening suggested between one tenth and one quarter inch.  We quadrupled the high side.  It seems like the rain favored the south slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and areas in the northern Salinas Valley.  The northern Big Sur coast also faired well, but precipitation amounts drop sharply south of that damned castle.  It is cold this morning.  39F at my home, with reading on the west side inland of Mission Street and in the local mountains hanging between 38-42F.  Closer to the water temps are closer to the mid 40s.  This is a chilly one for us.  (*You may want to consider protecting tender plants this evening as tomorrow morning is likely to be even colder.)  Clouds rim the Monterey Bay this morning.  It will warm up today, but that is going to take some time, so we will only rise into the mid 60s.  And you may have noticed yesterday how quickly thing cool off in the  afternoon.  I sure did at my son's 5PM swim lesson.  Steamy pool.

Anyway, we should see some brisk NW winds this afternoon, also keeping things chilly.  Flow shifts more northerly on Wednesday.  The morning should be very crisp.  Again, if you fear damage to the tenders, throw a net over them.  I don't think we will see a frost in my yard, but we are on a hill, so the cold air flows down.  If you are susceptible the them, you may want to take precautions.  The day will be warmer than today.  Mid 60s.  I'm still betting on 70F by Friday.  But that won't last long if forecasts hold.

A hell of a lot of cool things need to happen to rotate the zonal flow on Friday to a wet N-S system for Monday, but the weather has been so cool recently, that I am hopeful.  This entire system was recently forecast to be much warmer than the past two, but the more current solutions have it trapping in more cold air.  Not as cold as today, but colder then previously thought.  If you are watching the snow accumulations, this distinction is important.  Not as much so here on the coast.  But is interesting how well things are performing thus far.  Something to watch for sure.

I do believe we will see a longer break in the weather coming soon.  I don't think we are locked into winter just yet.  And likely this winter will see fewer, shorter dry periods, and more prolonged wet periods than the past two weeks.  Still, this has been a good primer.  Get prepared.  And speaking of prepared, wax up those skis.  Squaw, N* and Heavenly open this Saturday.  I heard Alpine pops on Friday.

Monday, November 9, 2015


It really was an angry inch.  Here on the west side .82 inches was recorded for the day as of 8PM.  Parts of the county were pushing up and over an inch.  Mostly those areas south of us, and toward the valley.  Mountains north and east of Santa Cruz were recording about .6 inches, and Davenport comes in on the low end around .2 inches.  Same spread as that last system.  The storm continues to circulate, and there is a chance for more showers tonight, but it won't be wide spread.  Precipitation is now focusing on the Sierra, where a foot or so of snow is expected tonight.  Freezing levels drop down to 3000 feet, so the foot hills will see a little white dusting.

By morning, we should be looking at a mostly clear sky.  Clouds will linger enough to make it beautiful.  Stars are already shining on the west side.  Crisp morning, and a cool day tomorrow.  The next five days ahead see some warming, most noticeable by Friday.  Chances for another Monday storm increase.  So exciting.  

Morning quickie.

Gorgeous sky out there right now for the sunrise.  Some broken clouds above Santa Cruz. Round two is just to our north and east, off of Pt. Reyes.  The cell is looking insane, with warning s of massive lightning and water spouts as it moves across the open waters.  If this one gets far enough south, we will have a period of heavy rains today.  It is mostly moving east, but has some south drift to it.  Wide spread rain is expected today, with up to a half inch across the region.  Timing has sped back up with this one, and should be here for the middle of the day, with rain tapering to showers by evening.  Better hope your stompers are dry.  Oh, and it is snowing again in Tahoe.  More on that tomorrow, but there is a chance that some more resorts could open.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A good round one of wetting.

And forecast totals are rising.  The area between Santa Cruz and Monterey got a decent rain today.  And valleys tot he east of us.  Between a two tenths of an inch and a half of an inch fell across the county today.  Most areas ranged between two and three tenths.  Still, that is more than we expected from the entire rain period we are in.  And it has just started.  And projections have gone up for a wave expected to come through tomorrow evening.  Not that the morning won't be wet as well.  Oh, boy.  It is all very exciting.  Saw plenty of happy faces out there today.  And the swell is cranking a little bit to boot.  A good Sunday.

Ladder Canyons near Mecca, California.

So, Monday is going to start off with a grey sky, and a decent chance of showery weather.  I'd expect some wet roads, and light rain for the morning commute.  Leave early people.  And give space.  There is still a lot of summer time oil lifting out of those roads.  It will be cool, but not cold, thanks to those clouds.  Upper 40s.  The day will slowly warm to perhaps 60F.  A cool day for sure.  Chances of rain increase through the afternoon, and we could see some periods of moderate rain, not unlike today.  Into the evening, there is even a chance of more continuous rain.  Exciting, eh?  What drives that rain is a cold front passing through, so it will get brisk in the evening.  Lows, even with cloud cover and rain, dropping into the low 40s.  Then things begin to dry out.

This front is cold folks.  Tuesday will see perhaps a few breaking early morning clouds, then sun.  Even with the lighter winds, the high will only get up into the very low 60s.  And with the stars out Tuesday night, we have a distinct chance of seeing lows drop into the upper 30s in protected valleys.  Crisp.  Veteran's Day no longer looks quite as warm, but highs will push through into the upper 60s.  And by late in the work week, and into the weekend, it looks like some fine weather.  Sunny, and 70.

Just a final note.  There are some models beginning to suggest another round of storms coming some time between this next Sunday and Tuesday.  That is new to the GFS.  I was expecting a return to some continued dry and warm fall weather, but this will be something to watch.  Maybe some more water will come instead.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Speeding things up.

Today is the warmest day of the week.  Not terrible, but not making me wish I was at the beach.  Still it is nice enough.  Saturday looks similiar to start.  Crisp morning.  Light breezes.  Warming into the mid to upper 60s.  But by afternoon we should begin to see some clouds filling in high over head.  Humidity increases, and we could see rain before sunrise on Sunday.  Light rain.  Drizzle really.  Here and there.  Not every where.  Same for Sunday, but that cloud cover keeps the overnight low just around 50F.  And the high creeps into the low 60s, as cold air fills in.  Clouds continue overnight, and the real burst of energy moves ashore early Monday.  Not a whole lot coming our way.  Maybe a quarter inch, but likely much less.

Regardless, it looks like Sunday will have cloud cover, and be cool, with a chance for showery conditions.  Monday will be even cooler, with a good chance for some rain in the morning, and strong north westerly sea breezes in the afternoon.  Tuesday will start crisp, especially if we see the stars out the night before, which is looking likely.  This would be our first chance to drop into the upper 30s for the Santa Cruz area.  Close to the ocean will be warmer, but those protected valleys will be very chilly.  Then things start to warm up.  Mid 60s on Tuesday.  Upper 60s for Veterans Day.  &0F for Thursday?  Overnight lows climb back up through the 40s as well.  Week two is currently looking dry, which would mean that next weekend could be nice and warm.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


It was damn crisp out there today.  It should be a touch warmer tomorrow and on Saturday.  Barely though.  The early morning will still be quite cold though, with coastal plain temps in the upper 40s, and protected elevated valleys dropping into the low 40s.  Gulches and such places.  High temps in the upper 60s.  Sunday we begin to see the daily high temps drop, but overnight lows will rise with the cloud cover.  Rain is looking likely Monday morning.  Currently, the storm is looking like how the previous one was forecast, with the heaviest precip on the OR coast, and through the southern Cascades and northern Sierra.  But we all know what actually happened here on Monday.  Still, right now, we are only looking at perhaps a quarter inch in Santa Cruz.  Keep in mind, we are still four days out, so a lot can change.

Eat your winter veggies.  Farmer's Market is every Wednesday in downtown Santa Cruz.

This one looks swift, and by Tuesday, we should see clearing, and some warming.  We could actually see some pretty rapid warming, with a rebound into the 70s by Veteran's Day.  And warmer by the weekend, ahead of the next series of systems up stream.  Unclear though about what happens mid month, as the models don't look anything like yesterdays.  Too many solutions to narrow it down to probabilities.  So, we will just be looking at this next system right now.  Plan for rain mid day Sunday through mid day Monday, and you will be prepared.  There will be another update prior to then, so you can always check back here for more details.  Hopefully the swell arrives Sunday before the weather.  Looks like another fun one coming.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Feeling wintery.

Not like dead of winter cold.  It is not like it was dipping into the thirties or anything.  But is was a crisp morning out there.  It just had the aura of winter.  And that might be what is sticking around for the foreseeable future.  It is barely in the mid 60s out there today.  While there will be some warming through Saturday, the good money is that we don't see 70F.  Overnight lows stay put in the 40s until Sunday, and that is only because we will be seeing some cloud cover.  Rain of some sort looking likely.  Details as we edge a bit closer, but timing looks ominously similiar to this past Monday's rain.  The big difference is this one will be pulling a bunch less water off the ocean than the last.  Expect precipitation totals to reflect that.  But then again, that river tap we had was a a bit of surprise.  Maybe we will be surprised again.  Wouldn't that be nice.

With the short days, it is time to start selecting your winter fruits

What is interesting today is the long term, as several models agree on a nice, progressive pattern.  It is November.  It is time for the rain to start.  Nothing is for sure.  Not even this next Monday morning.  We could see nothing.  Still, the charts suggest that after this next Monday, things will basically dry out again for a week.  And still remain cold.  By the middle of the month, though, we could be looking at a series of strong, wet storms stacking up.  More later.  Plan for more rain.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Remaining cool through next upstream event.

The power of our warming the next few days is looking diminished.  Likely staying in the 60s through the weekend.  Large surf is subsiding through the next few days.  Very northerly angle to this current swell, so much smaller at south facing breaks.  Make of it what you will.  Improving conditions Wednesday and through the end of the work week.  Another storm moves ashore near Portland on Friday.  We remain dry.  But it helps keep things cool around.  Even with that, we will see slightly warmer tempos this weekend.  Slightly.  Late Sunday into Monday we see another chance for a storm to dive south and bring us more cold weather, and perhaps some more rain.  We will keep a close eye on this one, as it is looking as predictable as the last.

Good reports coming out of Tahoe with a foot plus to two feet of heavy dense snow coating the mountains.  Mt Rose opens tomorrow and Boreal this weekend.  If this storm next Monday pans out to look like this last one, some of the other non mega corp resorts will start to open.  The profit squeezers will always find a reason to wait until their posted opening day.

Monday, November 2, 2015

It is mid autumn, and it is expected to stay that way.

It rained through mid morning here in town.  Rain ended earlier in the north, so Davenport finished off with just under an inch of rain.  Watsonville finished with nearly an inch and a half.  Most rain gauges in the county, and the surrounding counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Monterey, topped over an inch of precipitation by this afternoon.  Impressive rain maker for us indeed.  Plenty of folks just plain stoked on the rain.  I was stoked on how clean the surf was this morning.  It had that nice rain sheen.  It also felt cooler today.  And it was, as we definitely stayed in the 60s across town.  Now that the sky has cleared, and with this cooler air in place, the night will get a certain chill.  Down into the mid 40s here in town.  Low 40s in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Up in the Sierra,  a foot of snow fell above 8000', and temps are currently diving south of freezing in Lake Tahoe.  More snow on the way tonight and tomorrow up there.

Fall showers brings December's flowers.  Got to love the Central Coast.

Down here in Santa Cruz we could see some morning fog develop from all the moisture in the air.  That should clear out early with those northwest winds blowing.  The buoys are still up in the 25-30+ mph range.  Things are mellower near shore, but not light.  Tomorrow should see them crank back up a bit near shore and a day time high will be in the mid 60s.  Wednesday looks like more of the same, except for a better looking sunrise.  By Thursday we begin to warm up into the upper 60s, and the overnight lows rise into the low 50s.  No real warm up on the way.  It is November after all. But we could see some 70s for the weekend.  At least the winds will be lighter by late in the week.

Hope you got out there after the rain today.  I only had a moment to enjoy it and then we were back indoors.  It was gorgeous out.  The clouds were stacked on the opposite side of the bay.  Wisps of fog blew off the hills above Aptos.  And all the plants were rejoicing and singing praise.  You could almost see them stretch out and grow.  It was wondrous.

There is a lot so storm activity occurring this week just to our north.  It would not be out of the question to see something dive south on Monday of next week.  Not looking like the case right now, but this last one sure hit us nicely.  Until them, some mild temps and great outdoor working weather.  If you were back east, this would be a great week to rake some leaves, except for the fact that they would have just be soaked.


It rained last night.  Still sprinkling now.  You probably already figured out that based on the pitter patter during the night.  A half inch already in Davenport.  Almost an inch in Freedom.  The mountains are also approaching the one inch mark.  Remarkable. Snow is falling now at the base of Kirkwood, elevation 7800'.  Just a dusting at this point, as freezing temps begin to drop.  Looking at the radar, this might stick around for a while.  Just north of us it looks like a wide area of heavy rains moving ENE.  We are on the bottom fringe of it, but still close enough to see sustained morning rains.  As soon as I am done typing this, I'll be busting out the stompers and slickers.  Have not yet decided if we will search out puddles this afternoon, or hit up a museum.  It has been a while since I needed to make a rain based decision.  This week's update coming this evening.  I think.

This guy enjoys local late October corn just as much as we do.  So we saved him a piece.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Currently the GFS calls for 3.74" of precipitation centered around Lake Tahoe.  Even with the warm start, that would amount to feet of snow along the peaks of the crest.  No one is believing that.  This same model run brings a wide spread rain fall across the Santa Cruz area.  Up to a quarter inch.  Up to a half inch in SF.  NWS has backed away from 100% chance of precip tonight, to just an 80% chance.  The stars are out.  A swath of moisture is moving ashore around Pt. Arena, but there has been little southward movement today.  In fact, the moderate north west breeze that continued through the morning hours suggest the center of this thing moved more east than south today.  Although this evening, those winds have backed off and the buoys just to our north have begun to see a light southwest flow, suggesting that something is moving south.  Let just plan for a chance of rain during the next 24 hours, with the greatest likelihood being before sunrise on Monday.    Just keep an eye on the sky when you head out in the morning.  And lets hope Tahoe get pounded with a three foot dump.

Monday will be similiar to today.  If the sun is out, it will be warm.  And breezy regardless.  More on the rest of the week tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hard saying, not knowing.

Models align over night and startle the audience with nearly every single one moving from a torpid consolidated system to something more elongated, and swift.  Still likely to see some showers between Sunday evening and Monday noon, but what I described yesterday as a jump from the OR coast to the Sierra is almost what we are now seeing.  I would just amend "Sierra" to "West Slope".  If this thing turns into a long N-S axis, we won't see much spillover into the Tahoe Basin.  Regardless, we are still looking at a moderate rain fall for much of the northern portion of the state.  Nothing drought busting, but exciting none the less.  In the meantime, enjoy some all time weather.

The rest of today looks nice.  It was very warm on the school yard at Bay View for the Halloween Parade.  Not quite 80F.  The near shore winds look light right now, but there is still a brisk wind out on the buoys.  That could move inland, and would cool us a good bit.  Tomorrow looks like more of the same, but we might see a slightly cooler afternoon.  So, not quite 80F.  Sunday drops back down to about 70F, as the peak temperature of the day will be just before the arrival of a cold front.  Depending on when that front arrives, warming could be suppressed during the afternoon.  And then that chance of rain thing in the evening.

I'm going with a decent chance of some light showery patterns, with a slight chance of actual rain in convective stuff getting caught on the local hills.  But most of the energy and moisture will be north and east.  South winds.  Strong at times.  Everything moves out quickly, so Monday will see breaking clouds and remain cool in the upper 60s.  We could be back into the 70s by Wednesday, with warming possible for Friday.  It kind of looks like the quicker passing of the storm will allow warmer air back in sooner than it looked yesterday.  It is like Mother Nature is rejecting winter and staying solidly in autumn.  More fine weather next week as early as Tuesday.  Not that Sunday and Monday will be that bad.  In fact, they will likely have the best sunsets of the week.  And perhaps the biggest surf, if a bit jumbled and piled up.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rain or shine, two things are looking pretty for sure.

First one is that Friday and especially Saturday are lining up to be stellar.  Some cool and crisp mornings.  A little bit of a on shore flow still on Friday.  Upper 70s look likely, and I would not be surprised if the warmer areas of town top 80F.  The second for sure thing is much cooler air for next work week, arriving with a cold front on Sunday afternoon.  We will be looking at highs in the mid 60s by the middle of next week, and lows could drop down into the upper 40s by Wednesday morning.  Chilly.  We still see a decent chance for rain, especially over night Sunday into Monday morning.

Last light wave in Fisherman's Cove, Wells Beach, Maine.

But it is looking more and more like this storm will jump from off the Oregon coast to the southern Cascades and Sierra Nevada, ultimately leaving us in a more showery wake.  And while we could use the water locally, the good news is that this should bring a nice moderate rainfall to the state.  And we should get some snow out of it, mostly along the crest and on the peaks.  We could see a few inches down to Lake Tahoe.  In Santa Cruz, expect it to be cool, showery, and a bit breezy.  A fun day to either cozy up and stay inside, or don stompers, slickers and hats and go for a romp through the redwoods.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Some adjustments.

For instance, it was drizzly this morning.  More than just fog stuff.  But not really rain. Although there were a few drops last night up the coast at sunset.   They say there is still a chance for some today but looking outside at the blue up there, I'd suggest it is  a slim chance.  Tomorrow morning will be heavy and grey again.  High of about 70F, with some strong on shore winds from the north west.  Beaches up the coast could be seeing 20-25 mph gusts.  Ouch.  Swell is pumping though.  Go check out the show and walk along West Cliff this evening.  The tide will be out, and everyone will be surfing.  Good thing to suggest here.  Stay away from the water today and tomorrow unless you really do know what you are doing.  Things will be dangerous for a beginner out there today.  Watch the waves hitting the cliffs and stay away from the edge.  And all that stuff.  Just be smart.

What was once a Sierra tree.  Kirkwood, California.

Friday and Saturday look nice with clear mornings and mid to upper 70s warmth.  Now here comes the switch.  You know that cold front I mentioned coming for Sunday and early next week?  Well, it has picked up some moisture.  So we could see a few bouts of light rain starting late Sunday and into the middle of next week.  Not looking like anything too heavy, but wetter than the models were the last few days.  Worth watching and planning accordingly.  Oh, and more swell arriving on Halloween, although with a bit less height.