Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I probably should have mentioned it before, but I don't have any, so I didn't.  If you do have young tomato starts out in the yard exposed to the weather, you may want to protect them form the wind, or eve better, with some floating row covers.  While the day time highs are a touch cooler, the over night lows are really dipping.  Low 40s in Santa Cruz.  Combined with an active wind pattern, it is quite cool out just before sunrise.  Not the best of weeks for those young tender semi tropical night shades.  Anyway, next few days are breezy and cool, topping out in the mid to upper 60s.  Slight warming through Friday, which could get up into the low 70s.  Then another system to brush by to our north.

Cool greyness.

I really don't know how long it has been going on, but I do think it has pretty much been the entirety of the last four year.  Or winters.  I look at the various forecast models and tools as occasionally se the mirage of a storm about ten days out, and I grow excited.  And expectant.  Only to see as we get within seven days, the storm to fall apart, and reappear just a few days later.  Sometimes looking fuller, and stronger.  Again, I get hopeful.  Just to have it all happen again, and again.  And again.  It is my football, and those models my Lucy.  Will I ever learn?  Or, will I ever get my rain.

Hey, there are still chances out there.  There is still activity.  We could see some come our way, but the model runs today have backed off a bit.  No flurries for the Sierra tomorrow night.  Maybe rain for the north late over the weekend.  Another Maybe on Wednesday.  Model to hit next Saturday.  Ya, know, in ten days.  Anyhoo, likely cooler this coming weekend, with sun and wind.  But I'm still trying to kick that ball.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cooler, then fingers crossed for rain.

Easter is a holiday about new beginnings and fresh starts.  A little rain could give that spring flower a chance.  First, though, we need to get through the week.  Cooler already today, with a high of just about 70F today.  Funny, how that is cooler.  In late March.  But it is.  What a weekend that was.  Especially with the pumping swell out there.  Not that I saw it.  We took our son to the depleted snow.  Great, fun, spring skiing conditions, and Kirkwood still has the beginner zone up and running.  Anyway, over the next few days, another storm system will pass through to our north, but this one will do a better job of brining us some cooler weather.  Here in Santa Cruz, that may only mean a drop of a few degrees in temperature, but we will see some strong north west winds developing.

Harbor light.  We could see some marine layer the middle of the week.

Wednesday will be the coolest, perhaps Thursday.  Tuesday, through Thursday, highs will be in the mid to upper 60s, with 25 knot winds blowing off the ocean.  It surely will feel much cooler than the last few days.  By Friday, the winds will lighten, and temps will rebound into the low 70s.  A short reprieve, as over the weekend, we will drop back into the mid to upper 60s.

What is interesting is how much colder things will be at elevation.  Daytime highs over the weekend were in the mid to upper 50s at 8000 feet.  Today they drop to about 50F, but as we move through the week, those highs move done through and to the low 40s.  By Sunday, highs will be in the mid to upper 30s.  And that is when we see the first chance of snow.  In fact, by Easter Sunday a large wintery system is set to be posed just off the California coast, and will slowly shift rain inland.  Or so say the models.  This could be the pattern change into winter we have been looking for all winter.  It is possible to see increasing chances of rain from Easter through next Wednesday.  Still a ways out, but only time will tell.  Fingers crossed, and be prepared to see some wet weather begin to impact our region starting next week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gonna git hot out there... sort of.

Some serious warmth is headed for Central California.  You can feel it trying to develop today, but that is just the air mass starting to warm up.  High clouds also are keeping it a touch cool.  Still, it is much warmer out than yesterday and we have pushed into the mid 60s and will likely reach the upper 60s.  Still going to cool off into the upper 40s tonight with a clearing sky allowing radiative cooling.  That clear sky will only allow things to warm more tomorrow.  Low to mid 70s.  Still cool overnight.  Then we get a solid bump up folks.  Warmest weather of the year so far.  Perhaps.  With lighter coastal winds on Thursday and Friday, we are talking some legitimate beach weather.  And there will be a building combo swell to boot.  Lovely California.  We may have no water, but it is still a lovely place to be outdoors.  At least for now.

Been a lot of whales worth watching along the coast.  

By late in the weekend, the high pressure is squeezed from the north, by storms bringing more rain to the PNW.  Man, this country needs some pipelines built.  We sure could use that water.  Would't it be nice if the agricultural demand was met by imported water?  Although, I am sure that would create some new ecological damage.  Anyway, this weekend should be a bit cooler than Thurs/Fri.  One, or both, of those days could hit the low 80s.  Mid to low 70s for the weekend.  Especially by Sunday.  The start of next week looks to remain fair, and in the 70s for highs, and upper 40s for lows.  Some outliers suggest light precipitation, again, late Sunday.  Doubt we see anything like that.

Weather is really good for developing your tomato starts.  Pot them up from 6 packs, to 4" to 1 gallon pots.  Repot them deep, clipping all but their upper leaves, and burying the stem.  Thus they will develop a robust root ball.  These warm, sunny days, and cool nights keep the plants in a juvenile stage, were they really want to grow in size, instead of setting flowers.  Let's them grow robust.  Hell, if we are lucky enough to keep this kind of weather for a month, you will have them in the ground and taking off before May.  Anyway, point is, it is time to work in that garden.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Desperation sets in.

Ever get excited about a little drizzle?  We are.  Should make for a quality hike in the redwoods later today.  I hate kicking up dust.  If you need a reminder that things are bad, go for a mountain bike ride next weekend.  In Tahoe.  Not only are the trails dry, but word on the hill is that they are dusty.  At least the moisture arriving this evening should dampen the first centimeter of ground or so.  High peaks up on the crest will likely see a few inches of snow.  Not nearly enough to stave off the melt.  We need a four foot dump or so to save the season.  Sierra-at-Tahoe is closed down, and Sugarbowl closes after today.  Kirkwood is closing down the backside, along with chairs 1 and 11.  Rumor has it the Squaw is closing down in the next few weeks.  Kirkwood is aiming to stay open through till the official close date of April 19th.  Good luck.  What ever there was of winter, it is now over.  Welcome to spring.  Just look outside.  It feels almost like summer.

This kind of light will not be around much longer.  Get it while it lasts.

Foggy morning today will give way to clouds later.  Not expecting much in the realm of clearing.  Radar looks clear locally, but off the NorCal coast, two distinct bands of rain are headed toward the northwest portion of the state.  We mights see a light band or two of showers tonight dragging along the southern edge of the system.  Mostly, though, things stay well to our north.  Slightly greater chance for a few inches above 8000 feet in the Sierra from Route 4 north.  Shasta and Lassen should fair better, and really are the last hopes of this ski season.  Clouds should clear out of here fairly early on Monday, but plan for a grey and damp morning.  Today we will barely break into the low 60s.  Back up to the upper 60s by Tuesday, low 70s by Wednesday, and perhaps some real warmth to finish out the work week.  With the storm moving through on Monday, the wind will be pretty light.  Then, moderate northwest winds usher in high pressure Tuesday and Wednesday.  As that high pressure centers on us, and warms us up, Thursday and Friday will be quite pleasant.  Think beach weather.  The coming weekend cools slightly, as more storms move through to our north.  Could stay in the 70s though.  Bye-bye snowpack.

Speaking of which, if you want to play in the snow this winter, make some time in the next few weeks.  And while that snowpack is thin, and the conditions slushy, it is still plenty fun out there.  My son and I recently had our biggest day ever together.  We must have hit the terrain park five or six times.  A wipeout on the second jump is what basically sent us in for the day.  He was ultimately pretty damned stoked.  But yeah, that snow is going fast.  Get it while it lasts.  At least the surf is starting to come back to life, with a boost in the WNW swell on Monday, and a good chance for some solid combo swell arriving next weekend.  Pair that with some warm and calm weather and you have the makings of some fine beach life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Toying with ya.

At least things are getting more and more interesting.  Now, that does not mean we are expecting much in the way of an actual weather event that is well deserved in being reported on.  Just a little more interesting than bland.  Sticking with those upper 60s, upper 40s, though.  Just enough in the way of cloud cover to keep the sunsets real.  Not much in the way of precip on the radar.  Very slight chance of light high elevation showers and thunder, with a slightly greater chance in the very north west of the state.  Just clouds and some breezes for us.  Clearer on Thursday.  Cloudier again on Friday as a second system moves through mostly to our north.  Cooler air moves over the Sierra, and through the Central Valley.  Cooler, not cold.  We stay the same.  Through Sunday.  Some nice mild weather for those of us here in Santa Cruz.  Lovely.

Surf is building back up.  Still on the junky side, but improving from yesterday.

The interesting part is the active pattern that we are now seeing.  Yes, it is to our north.  But, yes, it is not just a big happy high sitting fat.  In fact, we may even see some southerly incursion by next week. Maybe.  If we are lucky.  We certainly do need the water, quite badly.  Best scenario, by next Monday, we see rain moving as far south as Big Sur, and a little deeper south into the Sierra.  Wow.  That would be fine.  That is the best case scenario, though.  And nothing for the south.  Just a decent jog north, and we could see no rain for the state at all.  So, as it stands right now, we are hoping for rain in five days.  As it looks now, just some light to moderate showers arriving early Monday morning, and clearing out by Monday evening.  Some lingering to our north and east through mid day Tuesday.  Will update as we move closer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kind of holding steady...

Highs in the upper 60s, lows in the upper 40s.  For ever.  Some coastal marine layer developing over the night time hours.  Pretty much on the southern edge of the bay this morning, not really effecting us much in Santa Cruz.  Some high clouds.  It is not as if we just have a dominant high on he entire west coast knocking down any low pressure that dares approach.  No, not that.  Lows are pushing into the PNW, bringing some significant rain fall.  Perhaps, even some little precipitation falling in the Sierra and the northwest corner of the state.  Not here.  Here will have highs in the upper 60s, and lows int the upper 40s.  But not forever.  Not really.  Just kind of feels that way sometimes.

Lazy Sunday.  Wilder Ranch SP.

A few days ago the models suggested some light precip making better inroads into the state on Wednesday and again this coming weekend.  Colder air was supposed to accompany that second one.  And while the upper elevations (like above 8000') will drop from highs in the 50s, to highs in the mid 40s, we will likely see little difference on the coast.  The cold air spills down to our east.  The central valley will drop from highs in the mid to upper 70s to the low 70s.  So, yeah, we could see the cold air spill on us as well.  But it does not look like that will happen.  Could be a nice five days of very moderate weather.  Early next week, we could see a system try to dive down the coast at us, but confidence is very low at this point.

I guess the most significant weather feature this week for us on the coast is the strong spring wind developing on the water today.   West cliff should have a solid WNW flow this afternoon.  Up to 25 knots on the open coast.  Good solid wind for those with kites or sails.  Not much swell on the water, but those winds will whip up some local waves, and a small mid period swell is due to arrive from the WNW.  Nothing special, but as those local breezes back off Thursday, the surf should be in the fun range.  Maybe even building a bit for the weekend.  Next chance for wet weather looks to be next Monday or beyond.  Enjoy the nice parts of drought.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

All over the place.

Let's start by me sharing how stoked I was Wednesday morning with getting the forecast wrong.  Hell, my end of post edit suggested that my gut felt like there would be rain.  But, alas, I went with those scientific models that suggested there would not be rain.  Turns out it rained nicely for a few hours on Wednesday morning.  Not much more than a tenth of inch recorded here in town.  Just enough to moisten the soil.  I even saw a few puddles form.  It was rich.  Rain broke before noon, and the sun busted out soon after.  Now everyone is getting progressive.  That big solid high pressure we thought would build up on us actually may have a few invaders.  Probably won't bring us rain here in Santa Cruz, but it will keep things from warming up too much.

Got to love that late winter light.

Friday still on track to be awesome.  Expect upper 60s and light winds, along with some coastal morning fog.  Looks like a good surf day with some south combo in the water.  Saturday will be a touch warmer, but barely crossing into the 70s.  And get this.  With increasing clouds later in the day, as a fairly wet system begins to move ashore near the CA/OR border.  Maybe some light rain for Lake Tahoe, and a few inches of upper elevation snow.  We should get by with just some clouds.  Del Norte county could be looking at another inch plus of precipitation.  Net effect for us is to send us back into the upper 60s.  We should stay there through at least mid week, when another northern system could send us more clouds.  Monday and Tuesday should be pretty damn sunny though.  I'll take a look at next week over the next few days, and will be sure to let you know if that Sunday system begins to trend further south.  Otherwise, get out there and an enjoy the beach the next few days.  Tides are out mid day, making for some great beach combing and tide pooling.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


There was a moment on Tuesday where the models began to get more progressive, but it was brief.  Recessive is more like it.  While it sure feels like it is going to rain out there, and the clouds looked like rain was coming, the most recent run of the models suggest just a very slight chance of slight drizzle.  Even for the local mountains.  So, if we are lucky, we could see a tenth of an inch, but more likely we will be measuring in hundredths.  Even the Sierra near Tahoe is expecting just an inch or two of snow.  The bulk of the system is north of us.  Well north.  Still, we should see some much needed rain in the northern fringe of the state.  High pressure moves in right behind this system, and by Thursday morning, the sky should be clearing, and the warmth will build in.  The low 60s of Wednesday will become upper 60s on Thursday, 70F by Friday and the low 70s for this coming weekend.  Beach weather is returning, so there is icing on the cake.

Evenings at the beach will be quite nice this weekend.

I am kind of tired at looking at the models beyond 5 days.  They have been pretty damn unreliable.  The ten day outlook is even worse.  But, hey, maybe a chance of light rain developing late next week, and serious undercutting of the high pressure the second half of the month.  So there is that to keep an eye on.  I'm getting my summer seeds going and starting to work the soil.  I'm thinking I best be prepared for an early planting.  If it is not going to rain, I mind as well have ripe tomatoes by July.

Before I close, I should mention the radar is picking up precipitation just off shore and to our west.  Maybe that feeling I had in the yard this afternoon was accurate.   Maybe we will get a touch of rain.  Maybe the models should have shifted south.  Maybe.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

At least there is some weather to speak of.

Beautiful out there this weekend.  Next weekend, as it stands now, looks even nicer.  The stuff in between is really just enough to peak one's interest.  Nothing exciting or dramatic.  That fog that was out there just at about daybreak this morning might wish to stick around a touch longer tomorrow.  And that will keep the air a touch cooler.  Some clouds will begin to fill the sky on Monday.  More clouds in the evening and through Tuesday.  Mid 60s for a high.  High pressure gets displaced east that evening, as a low rides over to our north.  Sprinkles for the day Wednesday.  Really light stuff.  Maybe a tenth of an inch in the local mountains.  Less along the coast.  Best chances are in the afternoon and evening on Wednesday.  What is kind of interesting is an Atmospheric River does loot to be forming, but it is pointed well north of us.  Someone should get some rain from this system.  We are looking at just a slight chance of some slight showers.  Will let ya know if that adjusts.

Feeling spring like out there.  The winter garden thrives.

Wednesday will be coolish, with low 60s, southwest breezes, clouds and moisture.  But by Wednesday, we will be mostly sunny and back pushing up through the mid 60s with 70s, yup 70s, by the weekend.  That high just seems to get pumped up by the next system up stream that will be sitting out north of Hawaii.  So, another dry spell to follow.  Of course, things are looking pretty wet about 10 days out, but we know what those forecasts are worth.  Still, will continue to watch and pray for rain.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Scammed Again!

Well, it sure felt nice thinking for a few days that the storm door would open wide and force water down our throats.  While there is perhaps rain in our future, the run that sent a solid system right through the state, dumping on the Sierra and all the way into SoCal by late next weekend has been knock off by another northerly tracker.  Bummer, dude.  First, though, we are in the midst of a nice span of weather.  Not abnormally warm, but pretty damn nice.  Feels great out there in the March sun.   As we approach the equinox, things are warming up more and more.  Along with this warming trend, the corn cycle up in snow country is just settling in.  Looks like it is going to be a nice one through Tuesday or so.   No real change to the forecast through the weekend or next week.

Winter is a great time to grow potted flowers.

Still seeing a chance of rain by Wednesday next week.  We could see cooler air move back in, but that is no more certain than the rain.  Regardless, it just does not look like that high pressure is going to break down.  The runs the past few days have a stronger looking high pressure just sitting in place.  They still have that large low pressure system, but it spends a bit of time in the Gulf, and eventually gets ejected north of here.  All of this is still a week or more away, so a lot could change.  I personally hoping to see the forecast revert, but not really thinking that will happen.  The past few winters suggest a dryer solution with the rain going north.  It is funny, I am reading a book about the Dust Bowl, and how people kept hoping the long term drought was not do persistent, and that rain was just a few days away.  And not too long ago I heard a report suggesting this is just round one in a long term drought for the west that should peak around 2040.  Anyway, enjoy the fine weather, pray for rain and begin thinking of way to really curtail your water use.  Restriction likely to remain in place and perhaps increase in severity.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

On Track.

Forecast is pretty much on track, so no real changes from yesterday's posts.  Just a few more details to point out perhaps.  The afternoon temps should warm into the upper 60s tomorrow, and they should stay there, with a slight peak around Saturday.  Don't see any real 70s coming, as another low pressure is primed to push ashore early to mid next week, and that will keep the high from warming up too much.  With a little luck, we could be in for another round of storms later next week.  Early morning lows will also be on a rise through the week, but they don't peak in the short term and will rise into the upper 40s by Tuesday.  After Saturday, the highs will only dip slightly and be in the mid 60s early next week.  Nothing too exciting.  I don't even see any encroaching marine layer at this time.  It is a little breezy out of the north west today, and that kind of feels spring like, but that should back off tonight, with a lighter wind regime in place for the next five days or so.  Maybe slightly offshore in the morning, maybe slightly onshore in the afternoons.  A nice off season south west swell is filling in today.  Could be fun out there the next few mornings at you favorite summer breaks.  Go figure.

It was fun to play in the snow on Sunday.  Heard it was even better Monday.  Kirkwood.

By Wednesday of next week, we could be in for a pattern change.  A lot is up in the air, but it looks pretty certain that a large low pressure system will push onshore around that time.  It could go north of us, or we could be on its southern edge, or we could even see it go right on top of us.  Better yet, it could drive storms, over what ever region it targets, for several days.  Even better, it could bust open the door in that high pressure that has so well deflected lesser systems over the past few years.  Don't we deserve an Miracle March?  Tell you what.  The fact that this current building high pressure is not looking to pump up too much warmth suggest to me that it is winter and not spring.  That last system was the coldest this season.  Keep tuned.  You can never know what Mother Nature has in mind for you.  In the meantime, enjoy some more splendid Central Coast weather.  And pray for rain.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It is finally starting to feel like early winter in the Sierra.  Snow is falling for the third day in a row along the Sierra Crest.  Even the top of the Palm Springs Tram has the start of a snow pack.  We are still way behind on water for the state, but it sure is nice to see some colder temps allowing for mid elevation snow.  If you are headed out to ski, just be aware that many sun exposed slopes are bare under that fresh blanket of powder.  Be careful out there.  As for us down here on the coast, today we will mostly see some passing clouds.  Perhaps a few of you in the right locations in the coastal mountains may see a passing sprinkle.  Actually, showers, when they do form, should be pretty squally, just like on Saturday.  And as on Saturday, those clouds are going off out there.  Sunset last night along Ridge Road near Jackson was off the hook.  And I rarely use that phrase.  I suspect tonight should be just as much of a glorious show of light.  Get some.

Thunder Bowl is looking fun.  And perhaps a touch thin.  Still, new snow is much appreciated.

Chance of showers dissipates overnight.  Low 40s in the early morning, with clouds clearing through the day.  Highs move back into the mid 60s.  We should be mostly clear by Tuesday evening, and that will help keep the lows hanging down in the low 40s.  High temps will build through the week, as we see high pressure build.  Upper 60s by mid week, and likely hanging out in that range.  But, yeah, it is March, so that higher sun angle is going to make things feel nice and warm.  Nice through the weekend, with a slight chance of hitting the 70s.  But nice, fair, and clear looks near certain.