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.