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.