Thursday, May 21, 2015

Just a taste.

8AM.  We got a little rain here on the west side early this morning.  Actually, I did not see it.  It may have been just heavy mist, but my shovel blade has collected water.  I'd assume maybe a few hundredths of an inch.   Just a taste.  Looks like we won't likely accumulate even a tenth through the period, as each model run moves more and more of the moisture to our east.  Still expecting a good inch plus in the Sierra, which is nice to hear. Warm spring temps limit snow to the higher elevations.

10AM.  Visible mist right now.  Really pretty out there.  Forecast this afternoon. Hopefully.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Slight chance of rain, most likely in the form of overnight fog drizzle.

Enough of a chance to pay attention if you have things out doors that should remain dry, or plants that you irrigate in one form or another.  Limited sunshine, cool temps, and some moisture could be saving you some water right now.  Still, I think it is much more likely we will not collect a tenth of an inch by the chance abates later on Friday.  Best chance for an actual shower looks to be Thursday evening.  Improving weather through the weekend.  We might even move into the mid 60s with more afternoon sun, by Sunday.  Memorial Day looks to begin grey, with light westerlies, sun by mid day and mid 60s.

Back in March, the Monarch was still kicking it here in town.  Lighthouse Field, Santa Cruz.

Looks like we will get another does of small combo swell to keep us surfing.  Arrival late Thursday, and backing down through the weekend.  Light winds prevail, so mornings should have ample options, but the tide will be low.  Not much too exciting on the radar, so it will be worth getting wet for.  Even the light fog drizzle we got yesterday should be keeping the mountain bike trails a little less dusty, and a touch more tacky.  Not sure what kind of water is running, but the lower Pogonip could be nice right now.  Watch out for Ewoks.  Regardless, looks like a good weekend to get outside for adventure or yard work or a stroll.  Enjoy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Cool and wet spring.

Let us clarify.  Not looking too wet in Santa Cruz, but it is certainly cooler than average for this time of year.  May Grey, for sure.  But the air mass is being kept cool by a train of storms that have been impacting the regions north, east and south of us. Last Thursday, when I saw a few sprinkles here in town, but not much else, San Diego received an inch and a half of rain in 90 minutes.  The Sierra got about six inches.  We were basically dry. The next round comes through to our north and east late in the day Sunday and through Monday.  Actually, moisture continues trailing through the northern portion of the state, and especially the Sierra down to around Mammoth Lakes, through most of the week.  And inch plus of precipitation through most of those areas, with several inches in the north coastal mountains, south Cascades and the Tahoe area perhaps topping three inches.  All this is good news for the state and drought.  Again, not nearly enough to get us out of it, but helping none the less.

Desert Scape.

Low 60s in the afternoons after the fog breaks up a bit, and low 50s overnight.  Marine layer filling in overnight.  Moderate northwest flow in the afternoons.  Light northwest in the mornings, with perhaps some lighter winds Sunday and Monday.  For the next week or so.  If any of those systems decide to push south, I'll let you know here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rain, rain, come our way...

There was sun early this morning, then clouds by 8AM, and now a little sun poking out again.  A decently wide band of rain is west of Big Sur.  More further south, with a heavy concentration west of Point Conception.  All moving easterly, with a slight northerly angle.  At this point, nothing seems imminent here in Santa Cruz.  Models still suggesting rain this afternoon here in town.  This morning's run, though, is suggesting that as the storm breaks, only a small amount of energy, and moisture will come across our region.  I'm going to lower our precip forecast to less than a quarter inch, and likely closer to a tenth of an inch.  Some shadowed spots in town could see nothing more than a drizzle or heavy mist.  That is not to say this storm is not packing moisture.  Los Angles is still forecast for a bullseye of two inches.  The Sierra Crest near and south of Mammoth Lakes will get over an inch and a half of precipitation.  Snow levels lowering to below 7000 feet.  All good news for water concerns.  We could even see over a half inch over a large portion of the north eastern portion of the state.

Ladder in the Ladder Canyon, Mecca, California.  Awesome, awesome hike.

Cool today and through the weekend.  Low 60s.  Will feel cooler in showers.  A second system should totally miss us over the weekend, so Friday will begin a clearing trend.  Warming will be held at bay, by said weekend system, which should bring more snow and rain to the high country and points south.  In fact, the totals spoken of above is total precip through early next week.  SoCal could be pretty wet on Saturday, and the mountain zones stay wet(ish) through around Monday.  Kind of cool that we stay mostly dry, when south and east of us is getting rain and snow.

Southerly flow today, and NW on Friday.  Some marine layer over the weekend, and NW wind afternoons.  Likely no more rain after this afternoon and evening, for Santa Cruz.  Wet else where.  Cool, and sunny afternoons.  Weather remains active next week, but currently looks like it will be north of us, and we will be set up under another spring time high.  So, likely, breezy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Staying on course.

Still on track.  No big change from yesterday's post.  Looking like we could log a solid half inch in Santa Cruz, with a bit more rain in the favorable areas of the local mountains.  The Sierra Crest could be getting a foot, or even more, in select spots.  SoCal should get a solid dose of rain with a bullseye of over an inch near Los Angeles.  And we don't exactly see high pressure nosing in afterwards.  We will likely see clearing on Friday and through the weekend.  South and east of us might see showery activity through Sunday, so we could possibly see a passing rain cloud or two.  Kind of fun.  As of right now it looks like the bulk of our rain will fall from mid day Thursday and through the evening hours.  I'll update for sure if we see any change in the timing or intensity.  The strong winds from today and yesterday will subside through Wednesday and a light south flow should accompany the rain system.  Not too dramatic of a storm.  More to come.

Drought resistant flowers.  Ladder Canyon, Mecca, California.

Monday, May 11, 2015


The ocean is cooler.  North of the city, the near shore water temps are at or below 50F.  That is quit a bit cooler than the sixty plus degrees we were seeing back in January.  When it did not rain.  Last week's system dropped another foot of snow is areas of the high Sierra.  We got a good dosing here on the west side, and got a sense that east side saw near the same.  Several tenths of an inch here at our house.  Felt nice.  Well, this week really looks like a repeat of last week.  High pressure pumping the on shore gradient, developing a local short period wind swell up to about head high on the exposed coast.  Where it will be windy in the mornings and gale like in the afternoons.  Thirty Five mph average wind from the WSW at Long Marine Lab located on the western edge of town.  Speeds exceeded 20mph as of 10AM.  That is some spring wind.  So, what does it all mean for our weather?  Cool grey mornings, with fog breaking up high and early, with sun by 9AM by my house and maybe a little later in the foggier zones along the water.  Not too late, as the marine layer pulls well off shore due tot he strong winds.  Sunny, mild afternoons. That sun will feel pretty warm, but with so much wind, the air will keep moving and well circulated, keeping things from warming up much.  Total spread will be about 50 to 65.  Things change on Thursday.  Like last week.

Hiking through slot canyons in California's desert.

Last week I though the system was going to be too far east to give us any more than a sprinkle.  Well, I was wrong, but over all the system over delivered.  This week models are a bit more progressive.  If all goes as forecast, we could see a wet system move south, just off the coast, on Wednesday evening, pushing rain across the region mid day on Thursday.  The bulk of the storm splits further south, bringing heavier rain to Big Sur, and points well south on Friday.  Could be a good rain maker.  Not getting too hopeful yet, but certainly watching things.  In fact, the mid an long term models are suggesting a continuation of the current trend of building highs and bull dozing lows.  Kind of the most active period of weather we have had since last December.  It is actually kind of cool, and hoping it continues.  Besides the need for water, is sure helps keep that dust down.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Geez, rain.

Was looking out the window this morning as sun turned to grey, then dark grey, and as soon as I stepped outside I thought I would post up that it looked like it might actually rain.  Pulled the shoes inside, picked a few things up, poured another cup of coffee, grabbed the computer, and by then it was raining.  Hard.  Just a very light drizzle now, so it has basically stopped.  But the ground is wet.  And the sky looks like it might drop a bit more.  Forecast later.  Hopefully.  In full prep mode for a four year old's birthday party.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Breezy, with a chance of light mountain snow.

Not quite rainy weather on the way, but upslope region could see some precipitation, with snow at elevation.  More on that later.  For now, let us talk about wind.  It is going to get real breezy today.  Even more so than yesterday.  I knew it was supposed to pick up on Monday as the gradient moved south, but was surprised by how much the wind did come up.  30 knots plus clocked at Long Marine Lab, just west of Natural Bridges.  Marine layer moved in over night, and moderated the breeze for the morning, but the wind is still blowing stiffly off shore.  That should clear the grey out fairly early today.  A combination of morning clouds and afternoon winds will keep the temperature moderate.  Mid 60s is the call.  This trend will basically continue, with a slight twist on Thursday.

Looking into Big Painted Canyon, east of Palm Springs, California.

A low pressure driving south, and a bit to our east through mid week will actually cause the gradient to collapse slightly on Thursday, turning winds more toward slack.  Same system will bring rain to areas inland, and snow possible below pass level.  If you are planning to drive over the Sierra mid-week, be prepared to encounter some snowy conditions.  Not that the pavement won't melt things off quickly, but slush is pretty tough stuff to drive through.  Anyway, we might see some showers in the local hills, but doubt we see more than heavy cloud cover.  If that.  In fact, we could be lucky enough to have the storm to our east, with the marine layer pushed out to sea, and partly sunny skies and light winds.  Still cool though, as the storm will bring a weak cold front.  Westerly gradient seems to develop through the weekend.  Not as strong, but still enough for marine layered mornings and windy afternoons.  Feels a bit like spring.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cool, grey summer weather, and a solid south swell on the way.

Yesterday sure was pretty awesome.  Thought today might hold onto it for a bit.  The sunrise was beautiful.  By 7AM, though, a low fog began to move ashore.  The west side is well within it right now.  There is a southerly flow already along the coast south of Pt Reyes.  So, likely not a beach day today.  The next few days, the entire northwest gradient is pulled north with a south westerly eddy flow.  Should remain light, keeping the fog around through a good portion of the day, and keeping air temps low.  On the other hand, we should feel that water temp warm up a touch, as surface begins from the south.  Which should be a nice combination for the two significant south west swells arriving over the weekend.  Watch for sneaker sets as early as Saturday, with for runners of the second swell with periods in excess of 25 seconds.  In other words, only two waves in a minute, so they will be spaced far apart, and will carry a tremendous amount of power.  As the swell peaks on Monday, the better breaks will be seeing ten foot faces.  Some places will push double overhead plus.  The south should settle through the rest of the week, down to chest high and below by Friday.  Mid week, we see a boost in NW energy.  On Tuesday, a 15 second period swell, with more short and mid period Wednesday.  Conditions won't be quite as clean, with a northwest gradient again developing behind a storm moving into the PNW.  Models suggests a chance of rain by the following Monday.  Ya know, like 10 days away.  Like you can trust that.

The desert bloom was fried this year by early 100 degree plus temps.  This day, it was just 80F, and perfect for a hike.

Foggy and cooler the next few days.  Upper 60s today.  Low 60s by Monday.  Then some warming back into the upper 60s, maybe even low 70s through next week.  Northwest flow (which clears the fog earlier, but still tend to bring morning marine layer) returns Tuesday and builds into Wednesday.  Eye out for rain after that.