Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blah, blah, blah, dry... but the weekend is sure looking nice.

Today felt warm.  Or warmer than I expected.  Got a reading of 72F at Westlake this afternoon.  And it was supposed to be cool today, due to that low moving ashore to our north.  Well that thing is showing up weak and well north.  North of Vancouver Island north.  The high pressure remains amplified.  NOAA has not pulled up on temps in its forecast for Friday, but it is coming on line for a more sustained warmth starting Saturday.  Could be another ten days before we see any precipitation.  We are seeing a decent bought of northwest winds out over the ocean waters this afternoon.  I'm thinking there may be a little developing marine layer in areas overnight tonight.  If that does occur, it will clear early, and we will hang in the mid 60s during the day.  Less marine layer means a bit warmer.  Similiar to today.  The northwest flow is not easily working into the bay or town, which allows for the warming.  Typically, in summer, that wind penetrates more, and helps keep things feeling breezy.  I love winter.  What a gorgeous day it is out there today.  And will be tomorrow.  And the next, and the next, and the next.  Until we are begging and pleading for any drop at all.

Swell is back on the rise in town for the next few days.  Smaller than last weekend's, but still fun.

Starting this weekend, we could develop a warm period, with off shore breezes.  At least in the mornings.  This will allow us to be hanging just about 70F off the water, and a touch cooler at the beaches.  Certainly not like last Sunday, but warm enough to go play at the beach.  And Sustained.  Basically, it looks like lows around 45F and highs around 70F, or a few degrees cooler, until the end of next week.  The models after that are interesting to look at, but nothing at all is feeling pegged down.  Time will tell.

A swell has been filling in today, but it is quite a bit smaller than last weekend's.  Still, this evening should see 5-6 foot at 17-19 seconds.  And the sets are likely spaced out due to it's origin being the far Eastern Pacific.  Still, when they come, they will pack some power and size.  And will generally travel farther inland.  Be aware if you are headed near the water.  By this weekend, things should subside from the peak on Friday, but still pay the ocean respect.  And go enjoy a mid winter beach day.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hope you like your whine dry.

If you are like me, you enjoy some rain.  Or inclement weather.  And look toward the eastern shores right now and are jealous of pictures of kids kicking it in snowshoes.  Don't get me wrong.  This is nice, today being the coolest, cloudiest day of the week.  A southerly flow kept a marine layer up high early this morning, giving us a slate of grey.  Texture began to show mid morning, and by afternoon, blue was poking through a plenty to insure a pretty damn nice sunset.  Waves are still up (though much smaller than the past few days), so the ocean spray can add to the fun.  Felt a touch warmer this morning with the cloud cover.  May get that effect again tomorrow.  Flow is still southerly.  Tomorrow we get a more neutral flow, more sun, and a touch more warmth.  Looks like we won't get as nice of a warm up as last weekend.  Could have happened, but just as the high starts to se up on Wednesday, a low pressure moves through just to our north.  We might see some clouds, but rain is not at all likely.  It will keep us from warming up, and temps will hold in the mid to upper 60s through the week.

Surf continues.  Sunsets every day!  What could be better?

High pressure again gains control on Friday and we will warm into the upper 60s for the weekend.  I mean, not much of a change.  After that we will have some variations to the dry pattern to describe, but things look pretty static through the first week of February.  The depression carving itself out on the east coast will basically hold our dry high in place.  Depressions try to break it down by the second week of February, but they will have a hard time with it.  Man, now you can imagine why I said whine.  Boo.  Sure, this weather is great, but I do want to play in the snow at some point.  And puddles as well.  Things are drying up, and it is already January.  What started feeling like a good winter, has just then gone up and stopped.  If we don't start seeing sustained very wet weather, expect heavy use restrictions starting in spring.  SOme communities may find themselves is dire need.

Pray for rain.  Wash the car.  Put out the lawn furniture.  Open the windows.  Whatever voodoo you do use to make some rain.  Please.  In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful weather.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Very slight chance of rain helps deliver quality sunsets.

That about sums it up there.  Monsoonal type moisture is currently moving north from off of Baja, Mexico, into SoCal today.  Upper elevations could see a few inches of snow above 7500 feet.  Rain showers will easily push north along the eastern slope of the Sierra, with some spillover onto the west slope and into the Central Valley.  Highly unlikely we will see any precipitation this far north along the coast, although light rain could fall in the Salinas Valley and points south along the coast.  The Sierra could be looking at two to ten inches of snow, along the crest, from about Tahoe south. Greatest accumulations should be near Mammoth Lakes.  That should all move east by Tuesday.  In fact, we se our best chance at rain from about 4am until 10 am on Tuesday.  Still, we have a sky full of broken clouds, which basically is what you want for epic sunset conditions.  Last night the sunset was quite pretty with some wispy clouds off of the Monterey Peninsula.  Expect a much more awesome show tonight.

Pumping surf, warm days and beautiful sunsets.  Winter is awesome.

Cooler today than the weekend.  Still should top out about 70F.  Tuesday will be even cooler, with the high for the day in the mid 50s.  Winds will be light from the south, helping keep us well within the cloud cover.  By Wednesday, everything will have pushed east, and we will once again get started on a warming trend.  High pressure, a clear sky, and plenty of fun waves through the week.  We could even be back in an off shore flow by Thursday.  By the weekend, we could be back up to about 70F.  Warm, but nothing like yesterday is expected at this point.  So basically, a very slight chance of rain tonight.  Clouds for Monday and Tuesday.  Back to sunshine on humpday.

That rain for early February does not look likely at this point.  A big trough is setting up along the east coast, and will block our high from heading that way.  Nothing for sure yet, but looks like we may need a while yet.  Surf looks good through the next week, and the weather will be nice, so maybe focus on that and not worry about the water too much.  It will come.  It always does.

Friday, January 23, 2015

About to bake. And big surf, too.

Solid swell is running about 8@20s right now, and building.  Not a huge swell, but solid.  So is the weather for the weekend.  Seriously, I feel confident somewhere in town will pop 80F on Sunday.  Likely a south facing cinder block wall, on asphalt in a protected corner of town.  Not that we expect a whole lot of breeze.  Pumping surf tonight and on Sunday, with slight moderation in size on Sunday.  Still plenty of sizable surf.  Monday will be cooler as our high pushes a bit east and moisture moves in from Mexico into SoCal.  Tuesday, even we could see rain, but more likely we will have temps back in the 60s, south breeze, cloud cover and some marine layer.  Yuck.

Surf and sunsets are on tap for the weekend.

By midweek, we will see some more high pressure fill in.  Hoping that a low pressure breaks down the high the first week of February.  We need rain.  Unfortunately, winter is likely to block us from getting the much needed precipitation.  More on that later.  Gotta go outside and play.  You should too.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monsoonal type rain possible for early next week. Please.

Not exactly a snow maker, but we may have a little luck in getting some more water sitting on our reservoirs.  Wouldn't that be nice.  But not until we have four days in the 70s, with sunshine and a pumping north west swell.  Santa Cruz is about to go off.  Light winds to boot, so the surface condition should be good all day.  If you are a novice, or even and intermediate, you may prefer to spectate.  Hell, if you want a show, Mavs will be breaking pretty large by Friday afternoon.  And holding still at first light Saturday morning.  Things should drop back down into the large range by Sunday.  If you plan to hit the beaches, especially with small children, please be aware of the long 20 second plus period swell arriving tomorrow.  Those waves pack a hell of a lot of water punch, and can travel far up beaches, and up and over headland cliffs.  Just keep your eyes open.

If I were a tweeter, I would have tweeted that we had some decent clouds to today for a sunset fun.  

Anyhow, the warmth peaks on Sunday in the upper 70s.  Monday should hang in the low 70s, but as the high pressure begins to move east, a pile of moisture hanging out off southern Baja, acting all tropical and shit, will aim to take the highs place.  Rain moves into the state from the south Monday evening.  Southern California could be looking at a half inch or more in places.  Showers should move up through the Sierra, especially on the east side.  Depending on how all this plays out, we could also see some action.  Nothing really to forecast yet.  Just keeping an eye out.  Likely getting set back up under a high pressure by next Thursday, and still seeing some activity from the northwest starting to possibly bring significant rain around the start of February.

For now, some epic mid winter conditions out there.  Get out and enjoy it, because we may be in for a serious pattern change in the coming weeks.  Nothing set in stone, or even jotted down in pencil, yet.  But you don't want to miss this weekend if you can avoid it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kind of mind boggling.

I'll get to the boggle in a minute.  Still on track for a warm up this week.  Upper 60s on Thursday, so a good bit warmer than yesterday, and a bit warmer than today.  Overnight lows also begin to climb and will begin to hover in the mid 40s.  Low 70s on Friday, and mid to upper 70s for the weekend.  Currently, the warmer trend builds until Sunday when we will be in the upper 70s.  Thing to remember is this:  Winter days are short, and that listed high temp will be brief, in the sun and only at the very peak of the day.  With the sun low in the sky, that temp drops off in the afternoon, and quickly around sunset.  Which is only a few minutes after 5:15 this week.  Super low tide again tonight.  Go explore.  Few clouds, so the sunsets are only really nice right now.  Will need to wait for spectacular until we get some more moisture.

Wintertime. West Cliff Drive.  

Off shore flow beginning on Friday will keep us high and dry and clear of any morning marine layer.  A large very long period west-northwest swell arrive late on Thursday.  Initial periods are in excess of twenty seconds.  Beware of sneaker sets around and just after sunset.  Long period swells tend to travel well up headlands and beaches, and have been known to knock people off cliffs.  Friday should be a solid day of surf with about 8 feet of swell in the 18-19 second period range.  SUrf should be real good along west cliff on the lower tides.  Keep an eye on the ocean, and use caution when approaching.  This is not a huge swell, but the biggest we have had in a while.  Great beach days and fun surf continue through the weekend.

What is up in the air is how the high pressure continues into next week.  Some models suggest continued warmth.  Some suggest a return to the upper 60s, which is more typical for a warm spell this time of year.  None suggest rain.  In fact, the models have really backed off on rain storms for the turn of the month.  They basically still have them there, but they do a much better job of avoiding Central California.  Nothing to fret about yet, but it does boggle my mind how well the storms seem to have avoided us since the beginning of the year.  They all seem to travel just north, east, south or west of us.  Something to watch.  For now, enjoy the warming weather.  It is super nice out there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Who needs a warm up?

Well, if it ain't gonna rain, mind as well warm up and go offshore.  We have had this onshore flow for a day now, and I am ready to move back to the off shore flow.  Marine layer is pulled in during the morning hours with this new set up.  Boo.  Makes for a chill until that sun breaks through.  Looks like we will clear a bit earlier today.  Sun is already poking through west side.  Afternoons are quite pleasant, and the sun sets are surreal.  Okay, I guess not surreal, but I liked how it flowed.  Really nice is more like it.  The sunsets are really nice.  King tides are super full mid to late mornings, making for a way pulled out ocean in the afternoons.  Worth go down water side and poking around the muscle beds.  Especially with those really nice sunsets we are having.

Sunset Season.

Anyway, onshore flow continues through Wednesday.  Low 40s and mid 60s for the temperature range.  Fog in the mornings.  By Thursday, the high pressure begins to make a shift and set us up for some off shore flow and a warming trend.  By Friday we could hit 70F here in town.  Even warmer as we move through the weekend.  And while we won't likely be getting anywhere near 80F, I would not be surprised if we are hitting the upper 70s by next Monday.  At least, that is how the high pressure bubble is looking to go right now.  As for rain, yeah, not a whole lot of that expected anytime soon.  There is a suggestion of a significant pattern change toward the end of the month.  Currently modeled as a wet system approaching from the south, followed by a stronger and wetter northerly storm.  Both look pretty warm as of now, so more rain than mountain snow.  Not a whole lot of confidence in things ten days out, but just stating there is a chance.  More later.  And on the coming big swell for the weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lifted further north, even.

All of what I said yesterday is pretty much true, except now it looks like rain line will remain north of San Francisco, perhaps somewhere in Marin County.  That would also mean fewer clouds for Tahoe.  And for us.  That that we were looking at a whole lot here.  Surf is dropping from last nights peak, and looks to remain in the chest to slightly OH range through the weekend, with a booster swell Saturday evening, and again Monday.  Eyes are on the waters, as a storm modeled to get very intense, is expected to come together on Sunday.  If this were to come to pass, a major swell would be likely toward the end of next work week.  No rain in the forecast.

West Cliff Drive and Stockton Ave is a great perch to watch the sunset from.

Near term, no big change.  A few clouds out there tonight.  The sunsets have been stunning recently. Make it a point to get out there and enjoy one before it is summer again.  Great outdoor play weather going on for the foreseeable future.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Storm's a bust.

Good news and bad news all wrapped up in one, with a silver lining to appease.  We are in for some nice weather for the coming weekend, but we could really use the water.  That silver lining will be some heavy rain falling in the northwest corner of the state.  In fact, some rain should get as far south as Half Moon Bay.  An inch to several inches north of Westport, and reaching as far inland as Shasta.  The Trinity Alps could get hammered.  Clouds for the Tahoe Basin, with perhaps a dusting.  But looks like nothing will get over the Santa Cruz Mountains, as the bulk of this system hits the PNW coast.  In fact Cascades could be looking at five to seven inches of precipitation stretching from Northern California all the was into Canada.  That is a lot of water.  Could give their ski season a real nice jolt of goodness.  Let's look at the details for this coming week, here in good old sunny Santa Cruz.

Cold mornings slowly become more mild as we move through the coming weekend.  Low 40s on the West Side tomorrow, upper 40s by Sunday.  Afternoons warm through Saturday from the mid 60s today to the mid 60s plus for the weekend.  I'm not seeing 70s, let alone upper 60s, but hey, we still have a few days to warm up.  But very pleasant weather none the less.  We could see a bit of marine layer develop, which would mean high morning fog.  We saw it yesterday.  Even if that does happen though, it won't be long lived.  And light variable winds turn more northwest to north over the weekend.  Still not strong, and likely enough to only effect ocean surfaces on the exposed coast.  Nice swell in the water this afternoon and through the rest of the work week.  More to fill in over the weekend and into next week.  Looks like some nice surf weather.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Trending Drier.

Ah, come on.  I really want some more real rain.  In fact, the rain water I collected from the last set of systems is nearly all used up already irrigating the winter garden.  Things are really starting to look like last January.  Anyway, here is the scoop.  Still got a ways to go, but the next few days will trend slightly warmer.  If you get outside in the middle of the day, and get some sunshine, it really does feel quite nice.  A new swell arrives on Wednesday, kicking us back into the head high range here in town.  Offshore conditions set up, with a nice NE flow settling in through Friday.  This morning, the GFS joined in with the Euro and pretty much keeps us dry this coming weekend.  The Canadian still has a little bit of moisture coming our way.  Anyway, we still have a few days to go before I have much confidence in anything, but the models have been trending drier over the past few days.

Monarch Nation.

And while we have now gone a few weeks without any significant rain, it does not mean that you can not get out there and find some waterfalls running.  Or mud to slosh about in.  There is still a whole lot of water draining off the mountains, keeping the wet spots wet.  The lower Pogonip, for example.  So, you may want to get out there this week, enjoy the great weather on tap, and get a hike in.  Surf is still looking fun, if a bit smaller.  A new solid swell arrives Wednesday and Thursday is looking to be pretty damn fun, with overhead long period swell, moderate tides and offshore winds.  If that is not your thing, well, the MTB trails are setting back up in the tacky, but not too wet range, so you might want to get out an d peddle a bit.  Good weather for a kayak paddle as well.  The ocean life is active.  Really, just get out and play.  I'll keep you posted on this weekend.  Pray for rain.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cloak of Invulnerability

I mean, seems like nothing can touch us.  Friday morning, a system dipped south of us.  We actually recorded a brief drizzle.  Enough to leave a few drops to count on the wind shield.  Today, a system moves through to our north.  Later in the weekend, a system drops to our east.  We basically remain dry.  And fairly calm through the middle of next week.  A brief shot of north west breezes on Monday as high pressure regains its composure.  Imagine yourself being punched on your lower, up and right flank.  You might crumple.  Not this guy.  It pushes back from the west and begins to pump in the pressure.  Unfortunately, it will not generate as much warmth as last week.  I guess I sure like it warm when it is dry, and cold when it is wet.  Anyway.  Low 60s for the weekend and mid 60s for next week.

Damp forest floor.  Lighthouse Field.  Santa Cruz.

GFS still is showing a wet storm actually impacting our region next weekend.  I've got to say, I have little confidence in this thing still a week out.  I am hopeful.  Just not confident.  It basically looks like a one-two hit right now.  Or rather, one and a half hit.  Anyhoo, if things play out as modeled this morning, we could expect some cooling by next Friday, increasing clouds and a chance of rain as early as Saturday.  The system is a slow moving, possibly hanging around until Monday.  That is the one part.  The two part would be a colder, much drier system to effect us through the middle of the week.  Not too much to talk about right now, other than speculation.  Yet, it does look like another dose of cold air could follow the systems as high pressure again sets up, but with a distinctly north flow.  Ultimately, not really enough of a system to excuse the rest of the month of rain. We need a hell of a lot more than what thee two may bring.  At least other parts of the state are getting precipitation this weekend.  Hell, it is even snowing (lightly) up at Kirkwood right now.  Even the mountains near L.A. are expecting a bullseye inch of rain this weekend.  So, there is that.

I'll keep you updated.  In the meantime, enjoy the surf.  It is pretty darn nice out there this weekend.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fair Weekend and Solid Surf.

Not a whole lot to report on today.  A bit cooler than earlier in the week.  Still have light winds and the ocean surface is glassy.  A solid swell is in the water today, and as that tide drops through the afternoon, more fun surf should show through town.  Up north it is well over head, with some 10-12 footers rolling through on occasion.  And it has some juice.  Great weekend of surf is on tap.  Highs today should top in the low 60s.  Overnight lows in the mid 40s.  Slight cooling through Sunday, and then slight warming through Wednesday.  Likely you won't really notice the difference.  Great weather to get outside and do some work.  Or go for a hike.  Or ride.  It is winter, and we will likely see some more rain sooner or later.  Maybe even MLK weekend.  Until then, expect fair weather and some surf.  A new swell arrives for Monday, and while not as large, should keep us in the head high range.  Another arrives late on Wednesday.  So, for the surfers out there, things are looking good.  More to come.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Splendid, then perhaps a sprinkle; and a wintery East.

My lord, did you get to feel that warm sunshine on your face today?  I was outside around noon, and it was simply splendid out.  Upper 60s across town.  Calm to offshore flow.  Can't really call it a breeze.  Abundant sunshine.  Tomorrow is a clone, although by late in the day, we could see a slight shift toward an onshore flow.  But man, what a gorgeous set of winter days for Santa Cruz.  And honestly, we don't see much a any change through the coming week.  A weakening storm system approaches Thursday.  It will cause our daytime highs to drop to the lower 60s, and we are still expecting to only see 60F for the weekend.  Also, Thursday night we will see some cloud cover, and perhaps a morning marine layer could develop.  Depends on if that onshore flow develops.  Night time clouds clear out through the weekend.

Someone heard the shutter go.  Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz.

On the east coast, cold air is pouring out of Canada, along with some small storm systems.  My hometown in upstate New York is expecting a low of -3F, along with a few inches of snow, tomorrow night.  And while I do love the snow, I am not too sad I'll have just finished another day of warmth and sun.  Washington DC is expecting highs to hover in the 20s the next few days.  North Florida has a Freeze Watch the next few nights.  You basically need to get as far south as the Everglades to have more warmth than us.  And not much warmer, at that.  So yeah, basically winter is hitting the easter half of the country hard.

Anyway, we will begin to warm again next week.  How much really depends on how the high pressure sets up.  Still a lot of question regarding a pattern change (aka rain) for MLK weekend.  Sure is truth that we need the rain.  So, I'll keep an eye on it.  Although, speaking of need, some good news to share.  Our drought has taken a dent, and the past few runs of the drought monitor has reduced the percentage of the state in Exceptional Drought, including much of the Central Coast, which has dropped to merely Extreme Drought.  So, sure, we still need plenty of rain to return to normal, but at least December has pushed us in the right direction.  And while Extreme things are cool these days, we would love to be just Abnormally Dry, or wetter.

Oh, that sprinkles comment.  Almost forgot to mention that some model runs have few hundredths of an inch of rain falling on us early Friday morning.  So we could squeeze out a bit of water in the local hills.  Perhaps.  And some surf is on its way for Friday as well.  More about that and local conditions tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Thaw

Well, I'm back.  I spent a few days up in the snow, and man was it cold and firm up there.  Still plenty of fun schussing, but for most it is groomers weather.  Kirkwood does have a bit of off piste that is edge-able though, especially in Sunrise Bowl.  This week looks best, with a warming trend going on right now.  For a moment there, it looked like we could get up to 70F this week, but the models are a bit more moderate this morning.  What is likely to be the case is a dry start to the year.  Not exactly what I was hoping to report, but there it is.  Continued mild and dry weather as far as the eye can see.  Today will be a touch warmer than yesterday with temps topping out in the mid 60s.  Overnight lows are chilly, dropping into the mid 40s.  Welcome to winter.

Still butterfly season.  Natural Bridges SB.

So you may be asking if that is really thaw weather.  As in, is it warm enough in the mountains to actually see some significant melting.  Well, yes.  Daytime highs at 8000 feet are expected to be in the low to mid 50s the first half of the week.  Southerly facing slopes will be seeing some melt up to about 9000 feet, with northerly facing slopes possibly staying frozen down to about 7000 feet.  Basically, though, with that kind of warmth, anything getting sun, with see some surface melt.  Not exactly great news for our water retention or ski slopes.  The warmest days of the week will be Tuesday and Wednesday.  Santa Cruz will be in the upper 60s.  By Thursday, though, we will enter a cooling trend, as a storm system moves through just to our north.  High pressure in place over us looks like it will have no problems deflecting that thing north, keeping us dry.  But cooler air does move in, with highs late in the week dropping back to the low 60s.  Cooling continues through the weekend, and we will struggle to get to 60F on Sunday.  But we stay dry.

Model runs about a week ago were suggesting rain this Thursday.  That has been pushed well north.  With that as a caveat, model runs over the past few days have suggested rain next Thursday and through MLK weekend.  A real wet one.  Keep checking back here for the latest.  I'm back from my little vacation, and will be posting up several days a week.  Pray for rain, and snow.  Even if you prefer these lovely sunrises we have been having, we sure do need the water.  Had a good start to the water year, but the last few weeks have not done much to help us out with the water issue.