Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not a drought reliever, but, there will be rain.

Confidence pretty high at this point that we will see some rain here in the county starting sometime on Friday night, likely well after night fall.  Yippee!!  We are looking at a tenth or two of an inch here in town.  A bit over a quarter inch in the local mountains.  The Tahoe are Sierra Crest and points south are looking at 3/4 to an inch or more of precipitation.  SoCal coastal mountains should get over an inch, with a over a half inch in the L.A. basin.  In fact, the swath of California that is deepest in drought right now, will see the biggest dose of rain.  Kind of cool.  Though, it won't be enough to make much of a budge.  Perhaps we will take a look at the drought after these storms.  Things have improved this winter thus far, but not nearly enough.

If you have a winter garden going, you may not need to water it this coming week.  

Cooler air moves in tomorrow, although, the morning will start off quite warm with the increase in cloud cover. Town could start off about 50F, and warm to just the low 60s.  Clouds increase through the day Friday, as does a northwest breeze.  Maybe some drizzle effect during the afternoon, but I don't expect much for rain until after midnight.  Rain, and mountain snow, for the interior should begin earlier.  With that cooler air, Saturday will begin chilly, in the mid 40s.  Not any cooler than it has been.  But we should have some rain showers by then, so it will feel colder.  The rain is looking squally in nature, and some of these squalls could develop thunder and hail.  Could be a fun one.  Showers continue into the afternoon and evening, and should break sometime Saturday evening.  Clouds begin to break by Sunday morning, and that could set us up for a cold morning in the low 40s down near the ocean.  And here is the cool thing.  Some of the peaks in the Santa Lucia could have a dusting of snow on them by Sunday morning, so when you get out near the water, look south.  Low 60s in the afternoon.  Monday remains on the crisper side, but also looks dry.  We see a chance for more rain by later on Monday.  This second system is modeled to move in further east, so we may remain dry.

Looks like we are back to a dry pattern for a bit after Tuesday.  Maybe even a warming trend by Thursday.  A lot of the different forecasting tools are suggesting a change to a wetter pattern around the 10th of the month, but that is still 12 days away, so yeah, not holding any breath.  So, for now, some rain on the way.  Tidy up the yard if you have not already.  Make some rainy day plans for Saturday.  It won't be particularly heavy, so you can play outside if you have some decent rain gear.  Maybe a chance of a second shot on Tuesday, otherwise, mostly dry.  So it looks like my prediction a ways back was wrong.  I said we would need o wait until March for more more rain, and it looks like we will get some on the 28th.  Off by a day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Strange keeps getting stranger.

Well, we will still work through this week with a slight warming trend.  So heat wave, but this afternoon through Thursday, we could be in for some decently warm weather.  Even the early morning lows will be on the rise.  But by Friday, we will begin to see the effects of a second inside slider.  Last Sunday, the Sierra around Tahoe received some light snow.  A few inches.  Along the crest near Mammoth Lakes a foot of cold snow fell.  Down south, east of L.A. reports range from 10 to 16 inches of fresh snow above 8000 feet.  Kind of an impressive SoCal storm.  This weekend, the slider will be a bit further west, as our high pressure amplifies off the coast.

The snow up in Tahoe was the best it has been all season last week.  Get it before it is gone.  Kirkwood Sidecountry.

For us here in Santa Cruz, rain showers are still in questions.  It really depends on how this system tracks.  Based on current model runs we could be seeing some light showers showing up late in the day Friday, intensifying into something more than a drizzle by Saturday morning, and letting up during the day, and clearing out by Sunday morning.  All said in done, we will be lucky to see a half inch.  Likely most areas along the central coast will be measuring a few tenths of an inch.  Maybe a foot of snow at the peaks along the Sierra Crest near Tahoe. More rain and snow headed to SoCal.  Again.  At least the state will be getting some water, especially in the south where the winter has been weakest.  But mostly, it is just going to be cold.  Snow levels down to about 4500 feet on Saturday.  We will be lucky to reach into the 60s over the weekend.  And as the moisture clears out, the chill looks to stick around.  At least the limited snow pack will stop melting.  And while it will be much chillier than we have seen this winter, it will not be terribly cold.

As of now the mid and long term look questionable.  Go figure.  At least we are seeing some possibilities of rain in the future.  Better than the high and dry we have mostly seen in 2015.  On the other hand, the excellent surf we have been enjoying for the last six weeks will be coming to a halt.  We still have some weaker, smaller, and more local surf looking to show up, so it won't be completely flat.  But we are not expecting any mid sized longer period surf for the next 10 days or so.  Of course, that could change as well.  For now, expect mild temps this week, cooler this weekend, with showers Fri-Sat, and clearing after that.  Slight chance for a rain system early to mid next week.  Looks dry after that though.  Keep posted, and pray for rain.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pattern trying to change

Well, that cold trough did push west.  And that brought some cold weather to the mountains.  It is cooler here as well, but just a bit.  OTOH, it was not much of a precipitation maker for the northern half of the state.  SoCal is going to get some, as the low pressure organizes on its trip south.  A foot or more of snow is predicted on San Jacinto, high above the Palm Springs desert.  Go figure.  And just to note, that cold we felt on Saturday was more due to a heavy marine layer and onshore breezes than to atmospheric cooling.  Anyway, here is our lookout for the week ahead. Slight warming through the middle of the week.  Highs in the low 60s creep up into the mid 60s.  Lows overnight in the low 40s creep up to the upper 40s.  And then with some luck, late in the week, we begin to see a chance for some rain.

The surf that has been good all month is winding up.  Get it over the next few days before it goes flat.

Earlier model runs suggested a significant storm pushing in.  Recent runs suggest a mild storm.  Timing wise, it looks like a Saturday system mostly.  We will need to get a bit closer to get a better handle on the exact timing, duration and intensity.  Ten days out the models have amore significant system, and they are suggesting a return to a wetter pattern.  Generally speaking, I do not have a lot of confidence in the models, but my gut continues to tell me we are in for a nice wet March.  And we sure do need it.  For now, plan on a pleasant week, and a chance for a showery day on Saturday.  And maybe start getting prepared for prolonged wet period starting some time after that.  I'll get more details posted up tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

65/45 and more King Tide.

Winter months are the season for King Tides.  We have more on tap as of recent.  We come through the end of a cycle tomorrow.  Expect some high water late morning.  Slows down the waves some.  The new swell filled in very nicely from the WSW.  Kind of a perfect direction for a few select spots.  Otherwise, our weather is taking on a summer time glow.  Foggy mornings.  Sunny afternoons.  Northwest afternoon flow.  Actually, the flow is a bit stronger in the morning than a typical summer day, and not quite as blustery of an afternoon.  Nights are a bit cooler.  Lows in the mid 40s.  Days are a bit cooler.  Highs in the mid 60s.  Perhaps less fog as we move toward the weekend.  Actually, something is changing.  Just not so noticeable here.

Late day low tides are happening right now in town.  

That insane trough in the east, bombarding them with winter?  Well, it is slowly shifting west, and pushing our nice bubble of high pressure that way too.  Colder air is going to be moving in from the east.  It looks likely to get as far west as the Sierra.  The mid 50s of the past week or so will be dropping into the mid 30s by the weekend.  Night will be back into the 20s.  At least the snow pack will stop melting away.  They even good see some snow.  If anything, we might see some clouds.  Still a long way off before we see much in the form of precipitation.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dog Days of Summer.

Nothing like kicking around in your board shorts on a sunny, warm, summer afternoon.  Especially in February.  It actually felt hot when I drove along West Cliff this afternoon.  Of course, I later discovered I may have had the heat on.  Still, it was a very nice afternoon.  Swell, while maybe not pumping, is running.  Fun day out there.  That will drop over the next few days, with the next smaller one due to arrive on Wednesday.  Up in the Sierra, the corn snow has set up nicely, and the schussing is good late spring conditions.  Over the next few days, our temps will go the way of the waves.  A slight decrease.  Still warm.  Sunday the warmest.  By the start of the week, we will be back into the upper 60s.  Tuesday looks the coolest, then a slight rebound.  Offshore, or NE breeze in the mornings and light NW sea breeze in the afternoon.  Stars out, and an early morning low in the upper 40s. Ultimately, some very enjoyable weather out there. Until when?

Surf was pumping on Friday.  Santa Cruz.

Well, I did say my gut told me March.  That does not look improbable.  At least through the next seven days, that about sums it up.  Or maybe ten days.  Or 14.  My gut also tells me we are in for some cold storms.  Science could suggest it.  I think the trough in the east will sit west to displace the high.  And allow some coldness to dip south.  Fantasies.  For now, enjoy the dog days of summer.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pump, pump, pumping up.

This morning the east wind was quite brisk.  I thought, damn, it is gonna warm up.  It did.  Mid 70s on the upper west side this afternoon.  Kind of nice to kick it at the park, with shorts and t-shirts and bare feet.  In February.  More of the same tomorrow.  And by the look of things, perhaps yesterday's forecast needs a slight adjustment.  Saturday will be quite warm.  Maybe even 70F at the ocean's edge.  Warmer in town.  And while Sunday will see a bit of cooling, we should still hit 70F in town.  So the cool down is not looking quite as strong.  By mid week, we will be back to about 65F.  So, not quite as cool as it looked yesterday.  And yeah, still no rain.  There is some suggestion of an under cutting system by next week, but only time will tell.  I'm keeping an eye out for this, and feel confident that we have at least another week of sunshine before the next chance for rain.  And my gut tells me it will be longer than that.  More to come.

Seals on a rock.  Wilder Ranch.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

High pressure pumps, then settles, through the mid term

That rain storm was kind of nice.  This sun and warmth is very nice.  The next three day look quite nice.  Low temps of just about 50F.  A mostly clear sky.  Plenty of stars.  New long period swell arrives tomorrow morning building through the day.  High in the low to mid 70s.  Clam to off shore winds in the morning turn slack to slight on shore in the afternoon.  Another warm night on Thursday.  Friday looks just as warm, if not warm, and that swell peaks in the morning.  About 6 to 8 feet at 15 to 17 seconds.  Wind again are favorable.  Friday night will be another warm one.  And, yes Saturday will still be in the mid 70s, with a subsiding, but still fun, swell.  Then things back off a bit.

Rosemary fields forever.  Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz.

Not enough to give us rain it looks.  My gut is telling me no more rain this month, as a series of systems will attempt to push under the weakening high.  But my gut tells me they won't make it.  Nothing to do with science there.  Anyway, that high pressure will push north and west enough for the east coast trough to bring some precip to the Rockies, but not looking like to us.  Not enough displacement.  We will see daytime highs drop back into the mid to upper 60s.  At least the snowpack we do have won't be melting away.

There is a chance of some raining developing by the end of next week.  There is also a goo chance of cooling weather, especially toward the end of next week.  We could even see some cold snow around that time.  Cold enough to snow cap some of the Bay Area higher peaks.  So, yeah, there is that to watch out for.  In the meantime, enjoy that warmth the next few days, and expect afternoon highs to start dropping on Sunday and through next week.  And pray for rain.  We still are in D3 drought.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And quickly we move back into epic weather.

Yesterday was damn nice.  Today is damn nicer.  Later this week will be damn nicest.  We will even get some solid swell to show up at the same time as warm, off shore weather develops.  Other than the fact we might run out of water this summer, this weather is absolutely perfect looking.  Plan for some fun, outside activities.  Mid 70s from Thursday through Saturday.  More of an update when I get a chance to sit and write.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Impressive water.

Let us just hope we can collect a good portion of this stuff.  The mid mountain rivers are flowing hard.  The Santa Lucia range has received over two inches in the last 24 hours.  Ben Lomond just under two inches.  When this all settles down tomorrow, it will be nice to get a look at what we received.  Here is your forecast for the work week.  Showers and plenty of wind tonight.  And while rain should be subsiding overnight, and with some luck there will be little to no rain for the morning the commute, the roads will still be plenty wet.  Keep an eye out for puddles, downed trees and power lines.  There will still be plenty of hazards to negotiate.  Heck, watch those south winds, especially if you plan drive across any of the bridges that span the bay.  Anyway, showers subside, likely before day break, and no later than noon.  Clouds breaking through the day.  High temp of about 65F.

Expect more winter light show this coming week.  Wilder Ranch SP.

Nights get cold again with the storm gone.  Low 40s early in the week.  Winds turn northerly on Tuesday.  Mild temps through Thursday, then a touch of warming on Friday.  We will be back in the low 70s.  But not for long, as the ridge begins its move northwest over the weekend.  We could be going into a wintery wet period as early as the week of the 16th.  This won't be the dramatic type weather like this past weekend with gusty south winds and down pours.  More like a sustained wet period, where accumulations like this past weekend's might take a week or two.  Of course, time will tell.  For now, enjoy the breaking storm tomorrow and the upcoming week of fine winter weather.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Coming in strong.

Eight inches already on the ground at Brandy Creek in Shasta County.  Almost four inches up near the summit.  Two and half in Ben Lomond.  Nearly an inch here already in town.  Plenty of rain still to come ashore.  Still plenty of wind out there.  Even if the snow levels are on the rise, at least we are getting some water in the state.  At at least the peaks up above 8500 will be retaining some decent snow from this round.

Pre Storm Show.

Did you get to see the sunrise this morning?  It was pretty damn awesome, with fast moving clouds and a hot pink light show.  Good stuff to be sure.  That wind has been whipping since late yesterday.  And while things did feel real chilly in the park yesterday afternoon, we are still looking at a predominately warm system.  Strong south west winds are bringing in warm lifting aloft.  And while this is no drought buster, it is sure looking to making a significant dent.  GFS is wetter yet with this morning's run.  The Shasta area is forecast to receive 17.9 inches of precipitation, with 7-10 inches along the Sierra Crest as far south as Mammoth Lakes.  Seven inches in the Santa Lucia.  We are still looking at 2-3 here in town and 3-5 in the local hills.  The past few days have seen the forecast push further south as well, although SoCal is still supposed to remain bone dry.  And warm.  As these systems will get shuttled north after passing onshore.

Clouds aloft.  Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz.

Rain will fill in mid day.  It is already raining in Marin.  This afternoon and evening will see some heavy rains, at times in excess of a quarter inch per hour.  That can create some flash flooding conditions, as the earth can have a hard time absorbing water that fast.  Certainly expect some shallow urban flooding and moving water.  By sunrise, the heaviest rain will be over, but we can expect fairly continuous rain through the morning hours on Saturday.  By afternoon, we will begin to see it turn more showery, and we will be getting some breaks.  The next system is looking to come onshore from the west on Sunday.  We may see a break in the rain Sunday morning, but by mid day, things will be quite wet again.  This system is looking a touch cooler as well, with this morning's model run.  It remains a fast mover, but it still looks to drop an inch or so of rain here in town, before moving east on Monday.

Monday night should be the coldest of the period, dropping down into the low 40s.  By Tuesday, high pressure begins to build back in, but it sets up more to our north and west.  Mid 60s expected for next week.  And a return to mostly sunshine.  Enjoy the rain.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wetter Yet.

Very quick update tonight.  Hopefully I'll have a bit more time in the morning to write.  Todays GFS is wetter still, with over five inches for the Santa Lucia, and Santa Cruz Mountains.  Watch the flooding folks.  Timing still looks the same.  Second round is seeing the biggest increase in precip amounts.  Still looking fairly warm.  Snow above 8000 feet.  More tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sixteen Point Three Inches

16.3" is the bullseye on this mornings GFS 5 Day precipitation totals model.  That is quite a bit north of here, along the California coastal range, near Cape Mendencino.  Shasta is looking at eight or so inches of precipitation.  And this morning's run gives us a bigger does of about two inches in town and three inches in the mountains.  So yeah, a good dose of water is on the way.  Otherwise, not a whole lot of change since yesterday.  Today that marine layer seems to be sticking around, with a solid south flow having developed earlier this morning.  Temperatures remain cool and it is likely we will only reach about 60F today.  Perhaps a slightly better chance at seeing some sun and additional warming tomorrow, but basically a similiar day.  By Friday morning we will see an increasing chance for rain.  Still thinking a later morning to mid day start time.  Here is what ya'll should be thinking about.

Tonight and tomorrow are you last chance for sunset weather.  Get out.  It is gonna rain folks.

The afternoon commute on Friday is likely to be wet, and the first wet commute since before the holidays.  That means there has been enough time to oil gather on the road surface.  That means it will be pretty damn slippery out there.  And seeing that it takes about 20 days of dry weather for most people to seem to lose their wet weather driving skills, there will be accidents out there.  Perhaps head home a bit early, or work a bit late, to avoid the worst of it.  Also, you should really be thinking about prepping your yard and home.  Get things inside, tied down, shut up, packed away, etc.  Once this thing moves in, it is going to be furious.  Strong, gusty southwest winds could build to over 50 mph, especially along coastal ridges.  Here in town I'd expect a few gust over 25 mph.  And it is going to be wet.  I'd not be surprised if we saw a good inch along the West Side slope between nightfall Friday and day break Saturday.  Certainly by nightfall Saturday.  Speaking of Saturday, it will start off quite wet, and will end just slightly wet.  Looks like we should get a brief break in between the systems.  Maybe even a few stars Saturday night.

Round two arrives mid day on Sunday.  A little less rain with this one is currently forecast.  Move a little bit quicker too.  But showers likely will linger through at least mid day Monday, and we could see some significant rains Sunday night.  So yeah, prepare for a slow Monday morning commute.  And keep an eye for localized flooding.  By Monday morning, we could see the soil at capacity again, for the first time in over a month.  More to come, check back, and keep posted.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Confidence high for warm rain event.

The good news is it is going to rain.  The bad news is that is it is going to happen over the coming weekend.  I guess that is just the bummer news.  The bad news is that it is going to be warm with rain up to 8-10 thousand feet, so we are not going to see much benefit to the existing snowpack. In fact, we might see a depletion. Of course, that will all depend on the storm track.  Perhaps, we could get lucky.  But first, let us look at the day to day.  Things have been feeling a bit cooler lately.  Sunday morning was chilly.  Although, today we started off a bit warmer, thanks due to some light cloud cover that is likely a touch of marine layer.  Hey, sometime fog is your friend.  Anyway, today will warm up in to the mid to upper 60s. Just like yesterday.  Wednesday, we likely will start the day of with a deeper marine layer, and that will suppress warming a touch.  Low 60s.  South winds develop late.  By Thursday we begin looking at rain pushing into the northern portions of the state.  And while they have not been quite as parched as we have this last month, it has been pretty damn dry up there as well.  A slight reprieve.

Weathered Oak.  Pogonip, Santa Cruz.

Ya know, they say climate change will look like we are having more extremes.  Well, some part some the state are looking at getting over ten inches of rain from this coming system.  And the past month plus has been nearly completely dry.  Makes you wonder, eh?  So.  Each of the major models have slight variations on the coming days, but they all suggest copious rains for the heart of the system.  The southern edge looks like it will be right around Monterey Bay, with heavy precip to the north, and light precip a little bit to the south.  No rain for SoCal with this one.  At least early.  So here is my Tuesday morning guess on timing.  Rain moves through the North Bay late on Thursday, and will slowly push south and east through the day.  Slowly, as it will be working hard to push our high pressure system out.  And that will allow for a hell of a lot of warm air to move in underneath it.  Afternoon temps will rise back up into the mid to upper 60s, lifting the snow levels to above pass level.  So yeah, expect some serious river flow and flooding in the foot hills and central valley.

Down here, I'd expect rain to start moving through San Francisco and south along the peninsula on Friday.  Depending on how hard the high pressure pushes back, we could see rain developing from mid morning, through late evening.  I'll guess at about noon.  Saturday morning the models suggest the system finally pours onshore and we could see our heaviest precipitation in the very early morning hours.  Warm air continues.  Rain continues through the afternoon, although the heaviest precip should be moving south toward Point Conception.

A second round arrives on Sunday with more rain.  This morning's run suggest it is slightly cooler, but not cold.  And slightly drier.  After that we see another giant high pressure setting up.  Looks like we get a quick one-two punch and then back to the same ole same ole.  Updates to come.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Happy Groundhog's Day everyone.  Ever feel like you lived this January before?  Like Bill Murray, we seemed doomed to relive a dry January until we learn from our mistakes.  Just what those mistakes are, I wish we all knew.  Drought is now worse then ever.  Not that it is much relief, but we do actually have rain in the 5 day forecast for the first time in over a month.  Read on.  It feels exciting.  Things have already begun to change.  Yesterday we saw a fairly strong NW flow set up just after noon.  Have not seen an onshore wind like that in some time.  Even saw some boarders breaking out the kites.  Today will be similar, with a crisp morning in the low 40s and a warm afternoon in the upper 60s.  NW winds will churn up again, albeit a bit slower.  Everything begins to moderate as we head toward the second half of the week.  Overnight lows will slowly rise to 50F, and daytime highs will drop to about 60F by humpday.  We will even see some developing marine layer, and cloud cover.  The glory days of winter are near over.

Fine winter days for walking the Pogonip.  Get some, before more rain comes.

Thursday will be a bit warmer, as a storm approaches from the north and drives southerly winds.  I'll get you more details on this approaching storm tomorrow, but we could have rains in the north bay by Thursday night, and in Santa Cruz by Friday.  Could be some heavy rain, especially north.  Looks like it will threaten through the weekend, and into next Monday.  Just wanted to give you a heads up this morning.  You may need to prepare.  If this comes to pass, it will be the first rain in over a month.  We sure do need it.