Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Warmer, then Colder.

Enjoy the warmth these next few days, as they are going away.  Cold air will be returning soon.  And a chance for some light rain.  Models keep flipping and flopping, so no one really knows what to expect.  We have a Rex Block off shore developing and this will start the cold weather engine and variability.  But lets look at the day to day.  It is a balmy 40F at 8:20 this morning after bottoming out at just about 38F.  We will toast into the low to mid 60s today.  Nice.  Thursday looks even warmer.  Get out and get that Vitamin D, yo.  By Friday we start seeing a chance for clouds and rain.  And colder weather.

That Rex will start driving cold air south from the Artic.  It will arrive here sometime over the weekend.  Afternoon highs will drop back into the upper, then mid, then lower 50s.  Lows will slide down in the mid 30s.  By the middle of next week, we could see a return to some freezing weather.  The real question is whether we will get rain or not.  As it stands this morning, it looks like we will see some light rain move in from the north around New Years, and last through Monday or Tuesday.  Light rain.  As in we might total only a tenth or two of an inch over multiple days.  Other parts of the state fair better for accumulation, but this is not a big rain maker.  Maybe an inch in the Sierra on the West Slope and nearly that much in the San Bernardino in Socal.  Dress warm.  More to come.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Cold Again.

It was 34F at the San Jose Airport this morning when I dropped off my family at 6:20.  Lots of people checkin in on Southwest.  Shocked was I.  The sky is clear and the sun is now just up.  Gorgeous.  The ocean is a beautiful cerulean, and the east ablaze.  It should be a chilly day today.  With the sunshine, and lighter easterly breeze, it will feel warm in the right spots.  It might reach 60F in one of those spots today.  The swell from over the holiday weekend is fading out this morning, with maybe waist high surf left in town.  Not to worry though, as a new swell will fill in this evening an into tomorrow.  And the weather tomorrow will be much the same as today.  But with nice long period head high waves.

Wednesday morning will be not quite as cold, and by afternoon we should move into the low 60s.  Surf will be bigger as well.  With the winds continuing blowing offshore, it could be a nice fun day in the water.  And Thursday is looking even better.  Surf heights will drop a bit, but we could be topping out above 65F in the afternoon, which would be our highest forecast temp in a while.  Favorable sunny, warm (as in out of any wind, and maybe has some stone or asphalt radiating heat by afternoon) could see a 70F reading.  Toasty.  Get out and git sum.

By Friday, there will be some weather, but not on top of us.  The effect for us will be the ushering in of colder air.  The daytime high will drop back into the 50s, and even colder on Saturday.    By New Year's Eve, we might be talking about a chance of rain, or mountain snow.  The system lining up is a bit hard to get figured out right now.  It may be too far east to bring us rain.  It may hit the Sierra and not here.  Or just to the south.  Or north.  It is not a big state wetter.  I guess I'll need to return to this subject as we get closer.  For now, get outside and enjoy the bounty of Santa Cruz.

Friday, December 23, 2016


First, an apology for not posting up the past few days.  The family has been sick.  Me included.  When I heard the pitter patter on the roof at 5:30 this morning, I knew I should have found time and energy to post up.  Over the past few days this storm has gone through several forecast versions.  The final one yesterday was to push things in earlier and quicker.  So our rain day is today, with tapering over night.  Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

It is cool today.  Currently 47F, with a high projected in the low 50s.  Rain should persist through the morning hours, and taper a bit in the afternoon.  A cold front approaches around 4Pm, and we could see another round of heavy rain.  And colder temps.  Cloud cover keeps us warm tonight at about 40F.  All together we could still be looking at an inch of precipitation in town.  We are a third of the way there already as of 9AM this morning.  It also looks like we currently have a break in the rain.

This storm is likely to clear out by Saturday morning.  We could still see a few showers through the early morning hours, but clearing through the day.  We could even see sun by afternoon.  It will be chilly, and likely colder than today, thanks to the front moving through tonight.  Saturday night the lows drop down into the mid 30s.  The weather remains cool and sunny for the first half of the week, and then we can expect some warming, with temps reaching into the low 60s by mid week.  It will be lovely out when that happens.

All the storms for next week look like they will miss us.  One stays off shore; another moves through to our east.  Next chance for rain is looking to be around New Years.  More on that later.

We made a dent in the drought, across all sectors.  15% of the state is official completely out of drought, with nearly another 15% listed as Abnormally Dry.  The city of Santa Cruz is out of drought, but the south eastern portion of the county is still Abnormally Dry, with a very thin sliver of land listed at Moderate Drought.  We are moving in the right direction, and this current storm is bulls-eyed near the worst effected part s of the state.  Can't wait to see the next report.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Big Change: Rainy Xmas Eve.

24 hours of model divergence and agreement have led me to believe what popped up yesterday.  It now looks like we will not have a sunny day on Saturday, but instead a very wet day as a cold storm finds a weak spot in the high pressure and drives south.  But first, cold again this morning.  Surprisingly sustained cold.  It dropped below 40F at 2:30 AM and bottomed out at 34F around 4:30AM.  What was not typical is we then saw some warming, and then as the sun came up, temps dropped again.  As of 8:30, it is 37F outside on the west side of town.  Although, I would assume sensors that receive early morning light would be registering closer to 40F.

No change in forecast through Friday morning, then clouds begin to fill in, with increasing chances for rain.  By night fall, we should see the front edges of the storm.  This system is expected to bring wide spread rain to the entire state.  Good news.  About an inch plus here in town.  Up to three inches along the Sierra Crest and up to 2" in the San Bernardino Mountains.  The worst drought effected areas of the state seem to get the least rain, but still a solid .25 to half inch.  It will be fun watching this one.  More detail on it tomorrow and Thursday as the solidify.

After that, we are now seeing more systems lining up from early next week starting on the 26th.  We will need to watch these, but it certainly is looking like a wet finish to 2016.  At least the entire year is not the worst ever.  We so need this water.

In other news, Kirkwood is 100% open.  Upper mountains of other resorts are looking good.  So you can easily get your schuss on over the holiday break.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cold 22.

It is a cold 22F on Eduardo Avenue in Ben Lomond.  Yikes, yo.  That is cold.  It is about 32F here on the Westside at 7:15, but is temps did dip below 30F for one and a half hours earlier this morning.  Yike, yo.  That is cold.  The cold air mass from the weekend was chilled further due to radiative cooling of the clear sky.  It will be a good bit warmer tomorrow night, but temps will still dip into the 30s.  By Tuesday night we are warming back into the low to mid 40s.  What ever plants make it through this morning will likely make it through until the next cold snap.

Drought conditions remain the same as of last week's update.  The monitor releases reports on Thursdays, so last week's storm was not recorded in the report.  Thursday's system was fairly widespread through Central and into many parts of Southern California.  It was significant enough that it should have some small positive effect on the drought.  We currently have 60% of the state in Extreme or worse drought.  20% still is listed at Exceptional.  The majority of that region is to the south of us, although some areas to our east and north are still effected.  We still remain listed as abnormally dry.

This week will have no rain.  Maybe on Christmas evening, but more likely next Monday, we could see our next rain system.  This one looks small, but packing a little punch and picking up moisture.  Still way to far out to do much more than say that, and hope.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Warming with Building Swell.

Nice offshore conditions today.  Cold out there.  Happy Valley was in the upper 20s.  Escalona Drive near the west end bottomed out at 30F this morning around 4AM.  It warmed up to 40F around 8:30AM, and we topped out in the low 60s around 3PM.  I was on a cliff north of town at that time, and the sun felt warm on my face.  Other than that, it felt cool.  Tonight will be cold again, but things turn a bit milder beginning tomorrow.  Winds will be light, and mostly offshore from the north east the next few days.  A series of building swells arrive with the first starting tonight.  Head high up the coast.  Another fills in later Tuesday, with maybe a few head high sets in town by sunset.  By late Wednesday, a sizable swell will begin hitting, with waves well overhead in town, and double overhead plus up north.  Then on Thursday, the winds turn more on shore,  though light.

Thursday, a storm moves through north and east of us.  This will keep things from warming up much, and perhaps even cool things back down.  Weather looks clear through Christmas Eve.  Then we may see a shift back to wet weather.  This time cold wet weather.  Enjoy that sunshine out there.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Very Crisp, and Snow Report.

34F as of 7AM on King Street.  I forgot to house my Padron. Too cold to go out and see if it was damaged.  The crazy thing is that I planted it as a summer crop, but the thing keeps on going strong.  And producing.  Until maybe last night. Like I said, it is cold out there. It hovered in the upper 30s most of the night, before dropping around 5:30AM.  So, it will not be a prolonged period of cold.  Things should be warming up shortly as the sun comes up.  And we are going into a run of fair weather for the coming week. With caveat.

First, let's talk about the snow that fell over the last storm.   A solid foot to foot and a half fell above 9000 feet with the Thursday night system.  It rained up to 10k during the day, then the freezing levels dropped a bit in the afternoon, and then plummeted to below lake level by Friday morning.  Three inches of wet snow was reported at the base of Kirkwood.  The surface conditions are less than ideal, but the upper mountains are plastered with a solid base layer.  This is a good start, as long as new snow is able to bond to the existing snow surface.  Otherwise, the new snow will slide.  All in all, resorts got a lot of coverage above about 8500', which is good for the coming holiday break.  Now we just need a cold storm to resurface it all. If you are headed out to schuss, be careful at lower elevations (below 8500') where crees are still exposed and there are plenty of holes not yet filled in.

As we go into the weekend, things remain cool and sunny.  We will warm slightly next week, but expected to hang in the low 60s.  Enough clouds to keep the sunrise and sunset going epic.  Perfect winter conditions.  We could even see some swell return on Monday.  And offshore winds.  Storms try to move through to our north and east, but we currently look dry through the holiday.  More to come on that as we are talking about the 7-10 day range.  Stay tuned.

Friday, December 16, 2016

One Plus. Sun Returns.

We received just over an inch of rain yesterday; most of it in the afternoon.  There were two notable squalls in the morning.  One around 9AM, and the other around 11:30.  Then the winds moved in.  And solid coverage of moderate rain from early afternoon past nightfall.  I was outside around 9PM, and it seemed like the rain had stopped.  Friday morning is gorgeous.  You can't see across the bay yet, but the blue sky is poking out.  We could still see some showers move through this morning and early afternoon, but should be in the clear by dark.

Before I get into the forecast, another thing to note is that on Wednesday, we collected .2" of water.  It basically drizzled through most of the day.  Much wetter than anticipated and forecast.  I had thought we might get a brief shower or two move through and bring maybe a .1", but this was a surprise.  Made it hard to vacuum my car as I had planned.

Anyway, moving forward, the weather looks like classic winter as we near the Winter Solstice.  It will be cold out the next few nights with temps a mile inland of the ocean dropping in the low 30s, near freezing levels.  This could bring a heavy frost in low, wind protected areas.  Especially those that don't get much sunlight this time of year.  Say, like the area near the train engine at Harvey West.  Or a nook of your backyard.  It would be wise to protect sensitive plants over the next few nights.  This is the time of year we see those Banana Trees look suddenly very unhappy.  Cool days in the upper 50s.  Sunny, mostly.

Things warm up, especially at night (Tuesday night low of 44F), by early next week.  We are going into a week long period of sunshine after today.  Maybe.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

King Tides, Rain and Coastal FLooding

We've had a little rain this morning.  Less than a tenth of an inch.  That was last nights storm, between 1AM and 5AM.  The next round comes in this evening.  Kind of.  It still looks like the heaviest precipitation will hold off until mid day Thursday.  But first, very light drizzle through this morning today.  Cloud cover sticks around, but warmer air allows us to get in the low 60s.  Light drizzle possible over night and into the morning.

We are expecting heavy rain from mid day Thursday into early Friday morning.  Two inches. This morning's forecast of the GFS is even wetter.  While the highest tides of the season are occurring today, we will see our best chance for coastal flooding during the high tide Thursday night.  With all that rain coming down, onto already moist ground, the creeks will swell, and a lot of water will run to the estuaries and ocean.  Watch for a flooding.  The commute on Friday morning could be a tough one.  Leave early and give yourself time.

And enjoy those King Tides.  Low tide this afternoon is right before sunset at 4:30 at a negative 1.5 feet.  If you like seashells or tide pools, this afternoon is going to be great.  With at AR well to our north, you can also stay relatively dry.

Still expecting clearing out on Friday and a cool, clear weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gone North.

The AR has shot north and should impact the NorCal coast through mid day.  We could see a sprinkle down here during the daylight hours, but forecast is for less than 2/100", so that is pretty slim.  Low 50s as of 9:30AM.  There is some mild air today, but with the full cloud cover this morning, it does not look like we will get out of the 50s today.  There was a break earlier, and the sun shone through, and it was awesome.  But that has passed.  The ocean is calm today with small swell, and light southerly winds.  Great light out there for taking pics.  Hoping to resume that soon.  As for the weather, rain will fill in tonight, but only lightly.

AR tend to be long and narrow.  Unlike a cyclonic storm, they focus a lot of precipitation along a very narrow path.  This one being aimed centered at about Point Arena, will only bring us light rain tonight.  About a tenth of an inch.  And it will be done by mid morning.  Yet clouds remain, and a second system begins to take shape off the coast late Wednesday.  This one is cyclonic, and will pick up the moisture offshore from the AR, before moving ashore and wetting most of the state.  Unlike ARs, cyclonic storms tend to be robust and wide spread with over all lighter precipitation effecting a greater area.  But, with you pick up all that moisture contained in the AR before moving ashore, you tend to pack a greater punch.

Late Wednesday night, into Thursday, we will see a decent does of rain.  Will need to fine tune, but it looks light through the morning hours and turning on mid day, and staying on past dark.  We could see two inches over the period.  Adding not much from earlier in the week, that is a much smaller total that the 4 or 5 is was seeing on earlier forecasts.  This is mainly because that narrow AR moved from being centered on Half Moon Bay, to Point Arena.  Had it stayed closer, we would be getting drenched in just a few short hours.  Instead, we have a a few mild days to enjoy being outdoors.

Clearing on Friday, with a crisp sunny weekend on tap.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Models are finicky.

This morning, the AR is pointed further to our north.  This will mean lighter precipitation through the first half of the week.  Due to the flips and flops, I won't go in to it much further than right than to say expect later arrival of lighter rain with warmer temps.  I'll put more detail into it tomorrow morning, after the 6AM model runs.  The good news is we may see more semi clear weather going into Thursday morning, as opposed to a regular showery condition.

Things are looking good with our water year.  We should be close to 50% of annual average by the end of this week.  At the end of November, we were already at 25%.  Locally, we are year to date about 150% of average.  The NOAA climate center was forecasting a drier than average Dec-Feb.  We are not yet two weeks in to that 13 week period yet, but it sure does feel like a good start.  If NOAA is correct, we should expect so much drier periods coming soon.  Yet, the operational models has more possible storms 10 and 14 days out.  While those are the fantasy charts, it does indicate a greater chance for that outcome than a blocking high.

More details on this week tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

That was a primer.

Two and half inches here on the west side between Thursday and Saturday.  Saturday afternoon saw the heaviest rain with rates up to a 1/4" per hour.  That is some pretty solid rainfall.  The last set of rain systems did not budge any of the drought.  It will be interesting what the next to reports show.  The 12 percent of the state that is out of drought is in NorCal, where even more rain fell.  Where we need this rain is south of us.  But rainy it will be for this coming week.  At least for us.  Another atmospheric river is taking aim, soon to be followed by a storm from the north.

Tomorrow will be a good day to get outside.  Mild temps, some clouds and glorious sun.  Get a glimpse of it, or you'll need to wait for the weekend.  Expect low 60s on Monday, after a crisp morning in the low 40s.  How chilly it ends up being will depend a bit on that cloud cover.  The more stars you see tonight, the chillier the dawn.  Tuesday begins like Monday, but with more cloud cover.  By mid day the AR will bullseye in San Francisco, bringing moderate rain for the evening, turning heavy after night fall.  The hose continues into Wednesday morning, before shifting more toward the north mid day.  Lighter rain could continue through the day.  We see a break late Wednesday into Thursday morning.  Then a strong northern storm picks up all that moisture and runs across all but the southwestern most portion of the state.  All in all we are looking at three to five more inches of precipitation this week.  And huge mountain snows.  More on that later.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Totally Different Morning.

Almost 50F at 6AM, with almost an inch of rain already on the ground.  Temps found a minimum of about 47F last night, around midnight, and began creeping steadily around 4AM.  It will warm up to about 60F today, which would be much warmer than it ever got yesterday,  which barely hit 55F.  Although, today, there is rain.  Always hard to tell on our radar, but there does not look like there is a bunch out the back.  Still. expect a fairly wet day, with light to moderate showers possible, which chances decreasing toward evening.

Rain showers are likely today and Friday, tapering off through the night and into Saturday morning.  It is possible, with a second wave hitting late Friday, to see some showers last until late Saturday.  Sunday and Monday look like partly cloudy and cool days.  Another Atmospheric River takes aim at NorCal early next week.  The forecast keeps moving this thing up and down the coast.  Best guess is that it hits some where north of us.  AR are narrow, but when they hit land mass and mountains, they disperse a bit.  This will be another warm rain event; likely warmer than than today's  If that AR hits further north, we will just see clouds.  If it shifts south, we could get a lot of rain.  A lot.  As it is right now those five inches should fall well north of here.  We will need to watch this as it gets closer.  I'll post up again tomorrow if I can, but will be traveling to he mountains for the weekend.  Not sure if I'll get a chance while up there, but stay tuned anyway.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

37 Degrees.

The Walnut Street weather gauge reported a scant 37F this morning at 6AM.  That is chilly enough for a little frost in spots.  Chilly enough for me.  It feels cold outside right now.  In the areas further from the ocean, and up the hill a bit, it is likely much colder.  Not much change in the forecast except perhaps it is a little wetter.  And maybe arriving a little earlier.  Regardless, today is your last day to do work to clean up your yard and put things away.  Rain looks like it could swing through tonight briefly, ahead of the main system.  Friday is also looking wetter through out the day.  The forecast looks active in the mid and long term, so be prepared for an extended period of wet weather.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cold, Wet & Wintery.

Lows in the 20s in the inland valleys, with lows in the 30s out by the coast tonight.  Protect your sensitive plants and be sure your outdoor pets have a warm place to sleep.  And actually, things warm up as the next storm system approaches late on Wednesday.  This first round will bring copious rain across the region, with the heaviest rain falling mid day Thursday through mid morning Friday.  We will be in the 1.5" zone, give or take, and areas in the local mountains could exceed three inches.

Yesterday I was asked about snow.  In the Sierra.  It does look like we will get widespread rain up to about 7000 feet, with snow levels dropping below that only very early in the storm and at its tail end on Friday.  While the heaviest precip is falling, freezing levels are expected to be between 7k and 9k.  That is pretty high, as only four resorts have lifts that go above 9000 feet in Tahoe.  For places like Rose and Kirkwood, with their higher bases, there is potential for top to bottom snow.  About a foot at the bases (due to high snow levels t time allowing only for rain) and up to 2 1/2 at their peaks (where it should be all snow through the entire event).  The good news is that snow levels are expected to drop starting late Thurs/early Fri.  This will allow the storm to set up correctly with the densest snow  at the bottom, with fluff on top.

Then, for the weekend, it currently looks fair.  We could see a little bit of rain and mountain snow, but it looks like that moisture will fall else where.  Starting as early as Sunday night, a series of small systems begin hitting the coast just to the north of SF.  These storms will slowly push south during the week, bringing us increasingly heavy rain when they do.  I'm looking out into that fantasy range of 8, 10, 12, plus days out, but it looks like it could be a wet week ahead.  Not just a one or two day system, but next Monday through the next 7 days has a variety of wet solutions.  In fact, by Saturday the 17th, the models would have you believe the entire state is getting a solid wetting.  How cool would that be?  More on that as we get closer.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Water Coming.

Chilly and chillier.  Cold dry storms move aloft and to our east, keeping things chill in Santa Cruz.  The sun is partly out, and when it shines on you, it does feel warm.  Overnight we will drop to the low 40s tonight and mid to upper 30s Tuesday night.  Day time highs hang sub 60F.  Wednesday night will be much warmer, due in part to cloud cover, and more due to warm air filling in from the south ahead of the next rain system.

We are still a few days out, but it looks like we will be on the south side of the bulls eye with rain moving in some time on Thursday.  The heaviest rain looks like it will come after night fall Thursday, and into the morning hours on Friday.  Depending on how that bullseye moves and shifts, we could see over an inch of rain here in town, with two plus inches in the local mountains.  The West Slope of the Sierra Nevada has a large swath of area with four or more inches of rain forecast.  This could be a good water delivery for parts of the Central Valley still in Extreme Drought.

It has been a week plus.  Prepare for the rain.  More to come.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Cool Week, Mild Weekend.

It has been chilly.  Cold even.  My padrons are happy enough in their quickly erected plastic sheeting green house, but even the mid day has been chilly.  If you are out of the sun, is is cold even.  It dropped down to 38F around 2AM this morning, but it is already 44F.  Yesterday, in fact, hit 70F on King Street, for about 20 minutes.  Never did it feel that warm; that thermometer must be in the sun  More of the same today.  Mid 60s, cooler in the shade and warmer in the sun.

We see a little warming over the weekend, then another cold dry system hits us early next week.  Not much daytime warming, but the nights will only drop to the mid 40s.  Then on Tuesday, high temps stay squarely in the mid 50s.  Very slight chance for very light rain, as this system moves east of us.  Very slight.  We see a better chance for rain next Thursday, but we are over a week out right now.

It looks like we could be headed into a prolonged dry stretch.  This last round of rain had not impact on the drought, so we are still in a pretty dire situation state wide.  Continue to conserve.  I'll post up more when I have a better look at next week.  Pray for rain.  In the meantime, get out side, get some exercise, work in the yard, cut down a tree.  This is great weather to exert yourself and not sweat too much.  Oh, and the sun rises and sun sets have been stunning.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Locally Wet.

The weekend system performed well as a rain maker.  Prior to this morning's showers, we received 1.2" of rain at King/Walnut.  Lompico (Santa Cruz Mountains) received less than us Saturday and more than us Sunday, for a total of 1.3" of water.  Not that two points of data are enough, but this one may have spread evenly across the region.  As we head into next week, I'll look across the state to see how we did with water.  I fear not nearly enough, as there is not another system expected in the near term.

The current showers are barely readable on radar, and the bulk of the cell is to our north.  Nothing like the yellow and orange blobs that hit us on Saturday.  We were inside for the first wave, but then escaped to the cover of the Pogonip for the second one.  What a great place to be out in the storm.  Anyway, this morning's showers are from a system that moved ashore NorCal last night, and pushed south over land.  We are on the southern tail of it.  There could be sporadic showers, especially in the mountains.  A few inches for the Sierra Crest.  Then things clear up and we get some high pressure trying to nose in.  This will keep it mostly clear, but breezy as well.  And chilly.

The good news about the high not getting fully established, and calm conditions setting up, and warming promoted by atmospheric conditions is that it will be less work for a low to break it down when they do decided to return to the NorPac.

Here is the skinny.  Chance for showers across the region and pushing to our south through Tuesday night.  But more likely to see clearing and sun.  By Wednesday, it will certainly be more sunny than cloudy.  And that lasting through the week.  Strong NW winds early in the week, turning more northerly toward the end of the work week.  Upwelling will significantly cool the ocean water this week.  Cool days on the upper 50s and lower 60s.  Cold nights in the mid to low 40s, dropping into the upper 30s later in the week.  Protect our plants from frost.  Keep them well watered (thanks ma-nature) and throw a cover on them.  Or pack them in hay.  Speaking of which, I've gotta deal with my beans this week.

In the fantasy charts there are more storms.  The cold later in our week if from a storm dropping south to our east.  It is not like we are seeing a huge block.  Just a small one.  Winter is coming.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Strong Start.

Wet this morning.  Rain began at just after 5AM and fell in ernest.  Nearly three fourths of an inch her on the west side as of 8AM.  That is a quarter inch an hour, which is a steady rate of rainfall.  If it had been wetter earlier this week, we would be looking at the likelihood of flash flooding in areas.  As it is, much of this water will be absorbed into the earth this morning.  Assuming the rain tapers soon, as is expected.  Looking at the radar, we are in a solid squall right now, with the heart of it hitting the peninsula just south of the city.  Hard to tell how long it will last.  I can see the back end of the cell on the radar, but the radar barely reaches off shore, so it is hard to tell what is lined up behind.  The infrared and water vapor suggest that things might taper by 11AM.

This morning there are south winds and they are expected to shift west by afternoon.  We might see some breaks in the clouds and likely will see a break in the rain by this afternoon.  Still, it is hard to tell, as the core of the system is shifting south just a short bit off shore.  If this thing gets a little closer than forecast (and it sure feels that way now) we could see moderate to heavy rain to last through the afternoon.  As this system all shifts further south on Sunday, we will see lighter rainfall and clearing. Over all, we should see between an inch and an inch and a half in town.  Temps will remain in the 50s over the weekend, but should climb back into the 60s next week.

Chances for rainfall linger into Monday morning.  Anything still around by then will be light in nature.  Up in the Sierra, we are expecting a foot plus of snow over the next two nights.  On the high end of the forecast, that plus is pretty significant.  This is going to be a good storm to get a little more terrain open.  And we need it as the next two weeks looks dry.

The work week ahead looks much like the holiday week behind.  The sun comes out Monday afternoon and the sky remains mostly clear through the rest of the work week.  Overnight lows will low 40s and the afternoon highs in the low 60s.  It is crisp, cool, wintery weather.  If you still have summer garden plants going (I've got my padron peppers, a cherry tomato and some pole beans) you may want to look into plastic covers or other ways to keep them warm out night.  And during the day.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Very crisp this and the past few mornings.  Upper 30s to low 40s on the west side.  This morning I can see frost of on the roofs of unheated portions of homes.  Attics and sheds and such.  Up in the Sierra, it is cold enough to keep the snow making machines rolling.  Combine with some natural snow, Kirkwood opens up on Black Friday.  Red Dog is scheduled to be open at Squaw today.  Other resorts are opening up.  It looks like ski season has begun.

Thanksgiving will be pleasant in Santa Cruz.  Sunny, with a high in the low 60s.  That sun will feel great while it is out.  By Friday we will be moving back towards wet weather.  Clouds fill in mid day Friday, with rain likely by night fall.  Chances for rain increase overnight.  There could be copious and heavy rain overnight.  Could be.  Depends which model you prefer.  The GFS is forecasting that most rain holds off until mid day on Saturday.  Regardless of what the solution is, expect a good rain sometime on Saturday.  And a second burst on Sunday.

My current thinking is awesome Thanksgiving weather, with some moderate afternoon NW wind.  Clouds increasing on Friday with some showers overnight.  While the storm will bring colder air, overnight lows will increase to the upper 40s with the cloud cover.  Daytime highs will linger in the upper 50s over the weekend.  Rain will fall in the early morning hours Saturday and into mid day.  Another round will come through in the evening hours, and then a second storm system on Sunday.  Expect the entire weekend to be a rainy period.  Probably a good idea to head to the snow.

Storms clear out by Sunday evening and we return to a partly cloudy sky on Monday and some slight warming.  Kind of back to where we are with low 40s overnight and low 60s in the afternoon.

Oh, and there is some surf out there this morning.  Get sum, then eat a bird.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cold Air Settled.

Equally crisp across the region this morning with lows in the mid 40s along the coast and in the local mountains.  A little warmer in Silicon Valley (low 50s) and parts of the Central Valley.  The air out at the Monterey Buoy is 55F, so it is the warmest area around.  The clouds are breaking this morning and it looks tremendous out.  It will be a crisp morning and mild day.  Winds will come up out of the NW this afternoon as high pressure fills in.  Stay out of those.  They will feel cold.

We are watching another system for Tuesday night.  It looks like a quick mover.  It will bring in light precip and keep the air on the cooler side. The good news is it could be a mostly overnight event, watering our plant life and allowing sun for the daytime.  I like those.

There is also still the chance for a series of storms starting on Friday, but the model runs are not consistent.  This morning it would look like we might see some light rain Friday night into Saturday morning, and a slightly stronger storm from Sunday night.  Gonna keep an eye on those.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Light Weekend Rain.

It never dropped below 54F last night.  We can thank the cloud cover for that.  It was raining until just a bit before sunrise on Saturday.  Looking at the radar, we have at least a few hour break in the rain.  Likely we will see some sporadic showers today and not much else.  It will warm into the low 60s.  So far we have received .44 inches here on the westside.  In contrast, areas in the Santa Cruz mountains received over three and a half inches of rain since yesterday.  Suffice to say, this is orographic lift effect, meaning rainfall was increased s winds pushed up and over elevation.  It looks like Kirkwood has received a dusting.  As far as resort openings are concerned, many are looking at this week of natural and man made snow to push them over the edge.  Time will tell.

This system should clear out through this evening, with clouds lingering through Monday morning day break.  Then the sun returns.  Low 60s early in the week.  We see another chance for a brief period of rain on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.  This one should move through fast.  And we are looking at possible heavy rain starting on Black Friday and into next weekend.  This could be the one that gets the snow season started.

We still have a large portion of our state in drought.  It will be interesting to look at the next two week's reports.  I doubt we will see much of a shift this week, but we could the following with the total of both weekend systems.  Rain is our friend. The Pogonip is begging to be walked through today.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Another Wet Weekend.

Not as chilly out there this morning as yesterday.  42F here on the westside.  Maybe cooler actually, as Scotts Valley is mostly reporting in the 30s.  Mid 60s expected this afternoon.  And sunshine.  But by this evening we will see clouds rolling in and rainfall should begin sometime around midnight.  This is not a big storm by last October's standards, but still we can expect between a half inch and an inch of rain.  The west slope of the Sierra can expect several inches, but not much is forecast to push over the crest.  For us, here in Santa Cruz, we can expect light rain through the weekend, tapering Sunday afternoon.  Showers may be moderate at time.  It looks to me that this could still be an outside adventure weekend with the right gear.  Put on some stompers and a shell and go for a stroll in the Pogonip.  Or Lighthouse Field.  They both offer up some canopy protection.  Another options is to go run around the covered areas of the Boardwalk.  They are closed, but you can still play out there.  Then go for a bowl.

Surf should be stormy starting Saturday.  That may last for a while.  The rains back off, and Monday looks nice, but we still have some strong breezes.  They could shift from SW to NW, which would be decent for town at least.  Currently the models keep the storm mid week to our north.  Models have been flipping forecasts every run, so nothing is for sure.  Keep tuned.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Colder than Crisp.

At the Farmer's Market yesterday you could feel a cold wind blowing.  My purveyors at Route 1 Farms were all bundled up.  It felt like winter, but I brushed it off.  I mean how much cold air could move in.  Well, a weather gauge near Western Ave and Mission St recorded a temp of 35.6F and my trusty Walnut St gauge is recording 39.5F as the sun comes up at 6:30AM.  As you head further into town, most are recording temps in the low 40s.  As you head up the hill, things quickly drop into the upper to mid to lower 30s.  Eduardo Avenue, in Ben Lomond is currently reporting 30.5F.  That is a frost setting night for sure.

Sorry I missed how cold it was going to be.  Hopefully your house heat was ready to go.  I imagine my Padron pepper plant dropped a lot of flowers last night.  Honestly, I can;t believe how well that thing is still going.  Wish I had set up a plastic tent or a floating row cover.  Seedlings as well may have had a hard night last night.  At least I watered mine, and that is another plant defense for cold night.  Water them well.

Today will be mild as we begin to warm back up from that blast of cold air.  In the Sierra, daytime temps will not get out of the 30s, and in some place, not out of the 20s.  This will be a good period for snow making.  They are blowing at Kirkwood, and I imagine they same could be said for most locations.  Here in town we will enjoy mid 60s, light NW winds in the afternoon and another fun swell.  A little warmer and less windy on Friday.  South winds developing late.

It looks like the weened storm may arrive early and weak and splitting.  All in all, we should still see about less than an inch here in town.  No big change there yet.  Mostly, just timing.  Which would mean clearing on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning.  I'll post up tomorrow after the models are run today, which gets us to about 3 days out.  The big news are the storms on the horizon.  Thanksgiving is now looking like a weaker system, but the forecast for the following weekend and week looks turbulent.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunday Storm.

It will be humid this evening with a very slight chance for showers.  More likely there will just be a misting.  Or a sprinkle.  There was a light sprinkle today about 5 miles west of town at 1:30PM.  Nothing recorded or accumulated.  Doubtful anything will tonight.  Clouds keep it warm, in the low 50s.  Today was no scorcher, with temps hanging in the upper 60s for much of the day.  Pleasant, but not quite warm.  Or barely so.  Great for outdoor activity such as hiking or gardening.  Speaking of which, this is starting out to be a great winter grow season.  I'm going to purchase my garlic for planting this week at the farmers market.  I've got my bed ready.  Also plan to plant some lettuce seeds before the rain.  Won't even bother watering them.  Boo-yah.

Slug Season

Wednesday will be cool.  With some morning clouds, and cold air moving in overnight, it will only top out in the low 60s.  Sunny, but we should see some brisk NW winds near shore through most of the day.  That won't do much to aid any kind of warming.  Thursday is a bit warmer, and a bit less windy.  But the morning will start off cool in the upper 40s.  Friday is fairer still, with temps in the upper 60s like today.  By Saturday we start to see the impacts of another rain system.

Currently it looks like rain will arrive late Saturday and last through Monday morning.  Total rainfall does not look like it will exceed one inch.  That is not a very big system, but will be great for the ground water and plant life.  Not to mention the animal life.  And a lot can change.  The forecast is for this system to stay mostly off shore.  If it pushes onshore, totals will go up drastically.

Looking out into the mid and long term, it looks like another small system for Thanksgiving, but some bigger stronger ones lining up behind it.  Storm door could be opening back up.  Oh, boy.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Misty Morning, Sunny Afternoons.

More fog out there this evening.  The super moon was in display at sunset though.  Then a low marine layer moved in around 7PM.   We hit the upper 70s today, and spent over 5 hours in the 70s.  Quite nice out there.  More of the same tomorrow.  More awesome autumn weather.  The swell backed off some today and this evening.  Still, there should be at least some head high surf out there on Monday.  We are still looking at a storm system that could arrive late next weekend.  More on that later in the week.

Tuesday looks like Monday.  Maybe a little cooler.  And we do have a slight chance for some showers on Wednesday.  And it will be cool.  Likely staying in the mid 60s.  Best chances are for late in the day, after sunset.  This system is falling apart and barely reaching south to the bay area.  A quick rebound Thursday and we will be solidly back into the 70s by Friday.  The weekend starts off nice, but we could see a colder storm moving in on Sunday or Monday.  Update by Tuesday on this system.  And in the mid to long term, we could see another system the week of Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dryer Solution and Pumping Swell.

First off it is pumping out there again today.  Please be careful in or near the water.  We lost two lives this past Wednesday.  Condolences to those effected.  And please give that ocean plenty of respect.  This afternoon there are a few ten footers at Swift Street.  I am sure Middle Peak has some bigger waves.  This morning at Scotts was reported in the 12-15' range, with some bigger sets.  Many people were stoked and many were humbled.  This swell will back off through the day today and into the early part of next week dropping to head high by Tuesday, but more energy arrives that evening, bringing things back into the long period over head range.  November has been excellent for surf.

Thursday we popped into the 80s.  Kind of felt we were headed that way again around noon today, but some cloud cover came in and cooled and slowed the warming.  Currently it is 76F on the Westside.  Not too shabby for mid November.  Expect more of the same tomorrow.  Highs ranging from 70F to maybe 80F, depending on how much sun and wind we get.  A good bet would be on 77F.  The sky remains mostly clear, with some high level clouds, and perhaps a little marine layer tonight in areas.  Monday is about the same, but a touch cooler.  The storm that likely won't bring us any rain on Tuesday is still expected to push some colder air south.  We could see out daily highs plunge to the low to mid 60s by Wednesday.  This will also drop our night time lows into the mid to upper 40s, which will be some of the cooler nights so far this season.  I do expect some daytime warming, and highs approaching 70F toward the end of next work week, but the night time cold looks like it could hang in the upper 40s.  We are in mid autumn after all.  More to come.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Battle Stations.

We have several more days of exquisite weather.  Cool mornings, but not too cold.  Low 50s here on the west side.  Warm to almost hot afternoons.  We topped 80F 5 out of the last seven days.  It will begin to be a touch cooler, as a large storm system approaches the coast beginning tonight.   It will continue to push up against the high pressure until is beat down late Saturday and dissipates and drifts north east.  So, mid 70s today, upper 60s through the weekend.  Then things start to take a turn for the wet.  The high pressure will inflate on Monday, and just enough to slow an incoming system on Tuesday.  But not enough to stop it.

We should a bit more clouds on Tuesday.  Not that it has been absolutely clear.  In fact, on Monday afternoon we had some clouds move in around 3PM, and it really cooled things down.  Anyway, we see a chance for some light rain in Santa Cruz on Tuesday night.  Current models suggest about a tenth to a quarter inch in town with less than a half inch in the mountains.  Perhaps just enough to water the garden.

Things break by lunch on Wednesday and the rest of the week looks more clear.  Although, there is plenty of systems that want to run across us, so it will be a battle between the high pressure and the low pressures.  Today's model run suggest a very wet Sunday the 20th through Tuesday the 22nd.  But that is out in fantasy model range, so time will tell.

And now, for you turkey day skiers.  There is not really any base up on the resorts yet.  Especially at the big snowmaking resorts.  The good news is that Tuesday's system will usher in some colder air.  It may drop a foot of snow at the crest and a few inches at the lake.  But the snow guns will be able to turn on.  With some luck, we could see another sizable snowfall the 20th-22nd to help set up some fun turkey day conditions.  Expect nothing epic.  Some WRODS, and maybe a few natural trails at places like Kirkwood.  Watch the weather.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Going 70.

There has been a lot of water moving the past few days.  The Sidewalk has been breaking decently in the slightly overhead range.  And the weather has been beautiful.  Friday hit 80F at 20 after noon, and hung in the upper 70s to low 80s for almost 5 hours.  Ah, November.  Today was cooler.  It only hit 70F at 1PM, and dropped below 70F at 4PM, with a 40 minute peak of 78F.  It was still quite nice.

We will see a cooler day tomorrow.  There is a slight chance for some very light showers tonight and through sunrise Sunday.  Nothing to be concerned about much more than making sure your car window is rolled up.  Winds could shift S to SE overnight, going light and slack in the morning, with a light to moderate NW onshore by late afternoon.  By Monday we could be looking at early morning offshore flow.  And we should see ourselves in a run of fine November days.  Cool mornings in the low to mid 50s and mild afternoons in the low 70s.  Into the weekend.

Looking at the drought, we saw another 4% of the state move out of drought last week, with a total of 12% of the state drought free, and another 13% just Abnormally Dry.  Santa Cruz remained listed as Abnormally Dry.  There was also 5% of the state that shifted from Moderate Drought to Abnormally Dry.  So we saw pretty good improvements.  We did not see any significant shift in the portions of the state listed as being in Severe, Extreme or Exceptional Drought.  So, the parts of the state most adversely effected saw little to no relief.  At least 85% of those regions received some rainfall last week.  Currently we see only another chance for a falling apart system, like tonights, for next weekend.  As it is now, we look clear through the following weekend, with the fantasy models getting the state wet again around the holiday week.  More to come.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Chilly yesterday morning.  Temps (on King St) were below 50F for over 5 hours last night.  Oddly, they warmed to just about 50F between 2:30 and 5:30AM.  Temps were also above 80F for over tow hours this afternoon.  It just dipped below 50F this morning at 5:40AM.  So it will feel almost as cool this morning, but will likely warm up much quicker once the sun rises.  Afternoon high in the low to mid 70s.  And the swell is pumping.

It looks like Sunday's rain will remain north of SF.  We are in a run of fine weather and pumping surf.  The SC buoy is running 13 feet at 14 seconds.  Big, but not huge.  Another swell arrives Saturday night and possibly a third large swell for the middle of next week.  Stay safe and enjoy the fine fine weather.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Surf's Up. Or Coming Up.

There was a lot of excitement brewing about this one, with forecast of swell exceeding 13 feet at 18 seconds (which would push Mavs into the 30' range).  It is not expected to be that big, but open ocean swell should increase to over 8 feet by Thursday evening with long periods.  There will be some large waves along West Cliff at sunset tomorrow.  If you plan to get in the water tomorrow, be watchful for increasing set size.  All the usual caution.  And have fun.  This is looking like it is going to be a super fun swell with very clean conditions.  Wind will be blowing lightly off shore in the morning, and the air will be a crisp 50F.  It will warm into the mid 70s.  Looking like a lovely day.  Winds shift light out of the west in the afternoon.

Thursday will be the warmest in the week ahead.  Friday we stay in the 70s, but by the weekend, we will drop back down into the 60s.  The GFS still calls for a chance of rain on Sunday, and we will likely see the winds shift back out of the south and cloud cover increase.  But this is a quick shot at best, and we should return to sunny, autumnal weather by next Monday.  We will even see another warming trend through at least the middle of next week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Strong Finish

Last night really delivered.  It came in two squalls on the West Side.  First one hit between 10pm and 11pm and dropped well over a half inch of rain.  The second came between 4:30 and 5am and dropped well over a third of an inch.  All totaled, we received .9" last night, bringing our in town total to over 3.5".  And it is barely November.  Literally.  I'm kind of excited to look at the drought monitors after all this rain fall is tallied around the state.  Could be kind of cool.  We might get to see a drop in the 21% of the state still listed as in Exceptional Drought.  But, now, for us, we are still looking at the warming and drying trend.

I said that Monday might have a great sunrise.  It was overly clouded.  Sorry.  Today looks has potential, although the puffy clouds are hanging low on the horizon right now.  Warmer today, with sunshine.  Mid 60s.  It will likely feel much warmer than yesterday.  And Wednesday we will be warmer still.  Thursday is looking like the peak of the warm spell with temps topping out in the low 70s.  Then we begin to moderate, as the sun continues.

As I mentioned yesterday, rain continues in NorCal today, and the pattern remains active.  We will see a turn toward fair, sunny weather, but we still sizable rain systems hitting the PNW.  Any one of these could push south.  The GFS suggest one will next Sunday and bring light rain to Santa Cruz.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wintery Mix

In the north east, that would mean a mix of rain and snow.  Here in Santa Cruz that is a mix of rain and sun and mild temps.  Kind of feel like that is how this week is going.  We've cleared the humped, and things look to turn fairer.  Yesterday was a great afternoon to stomp in the Pogonip.  We found friends and salamanders.  Along with much wet earth.  The rain was quite sparse in the afternoon, but last night we had several squalls move trough, after dark, dropping an additional .4 inches.  The weekend total for the west side is just about 1.75".  Just over 2 inches in Lompico.  A moderately wet system.  And October is now in the top five wettest Octobers of all time.  A great start to our water year, even as winter forecast start to look on the dryer than average size.

After the rains, we hike the Pogonip through the Ewok Zone, to the Big Leaf Tree, and eat a wild persimmon.  Life.

Today, Monday, will remain cool and cloudy, with the most sun around mid morning.  It does not look like it will rain during the day, although a brief light morning shower is not out of the question.  The final storm in the series should impact us after midnight tonight, with a light fall of rain.  Maybe a tenth or two.  Tuesday could begin wet, but then we get into some series clearing through the day, and should see a full slate of stars at night.  Low to mid 60s both days, but warmer on Tuesday.  And that trend continues with sun and upper 60s Wednesday and low 70s for Thursday and Friday.  There will be a storm impacting the PNW mid week, but it looks like we should be well protected by the building high pressure.  And another system tries to hit us late in the coming weekend.  Too far away to tell, but current model runs have light rain for us Sunday night.

All in all, the first two weeks of November are looking dry.  But the pattern is active, and we see a breach on the models about once per week.  So we are not looking at an inactive, or boring set up, coming these next two weeks.  And if we do get the sunshine, that would be great for home gardens and natural gardens.  Things are green in town.  It is going to be a gorgeous fall.

Rumors have been heard about copious snow in the Tahoe zone last night.  A look at some mountain cams confirm a moderate to decent snow fall.  It looks like 8" to a foot at about 8000 feet.  This will give a good building base for those resorts that wish to make snow.  Not quite enough natural to start the schuss season, but a good building block.  We will have to see how two weeks of sunshine and slight warmth treat it, as we swing into opening days.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Clearing Up; Slowly.

The worst of today's storm looks like it has passed.  Hard to tell, as we don't have off shore radar, but the strongest cells have moved NW.  Town and Lompico are reporting about a quarter inch of rain so far.  This afternoon and evening are only forecast to receive a tenth or two.  It is windy, drizzly and super puddle(y) out there right now.  We are about to go stomping and might check out the Ewok Zone in the Pogonip.  Bet we can squelch down in there.  Anyway, rain and winds lighten up through the day, but we could still have some periodic moderate rain fall out there.  Wear a good protective layer.  Monday could be a beautiful day of clearing after several days of rain.  I'd keep an eye out for an awesome sunrise.  You only need to be up by 7:15 this time of year.

We are not out in the clear, with another round and chance for light rain Monday night.  This is looking to hit late, so should not interfere with the younger crowd, but might taper the late night mayhem.  And update tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 28, 2016

WWW.Warm, Wet and Wild.

It did feel muggy yesterday.  Not terribly uncomfortable east coast style.  Still, a little muggy before that rain.  I liked it.  Rain fell in Santa Cruz during the evening, tapering around 9PM, and then filled back in around 11PM.  It has been fairly consistent since then, but we had heavier showers around 2AM and they are happening agin now.  It is about 60F on the westside.  It will warm up a few more degrees today, but not much change.  We have nearly 3/4" already here on the west side, and the radar does not suggest a let up just yet.  A nice band of yellow and orange is coming ashore here currently.  And even stronger band seems to be hitting Marin, and earlier today the Santa Barbara/Ventura region had a strong cell impact them.

I was thinking we might get some thunder today, but it now seems like we did not entrap enough warm air.  But rain looks solid for the next hour or more.  I now expect we will break an inch here in town with this system.  Maybe even hit 1.5".  Only change in the short term is that moderate rain showers look to persist through most of the day today, subsiding over night.  Sunday's storm might move through a bit faster; so with less rain and more wind.  Speaking of winds, they should really begin to whip back up out of the south Saturday mid day.  Ultimately, this things will bring us some rain (another inch perhaps, as it is packing some moisture) but otherwise will stay north.  OTOH, there is now a storm diving south on Tuesday, bringing more rain.  And the long term now looks like a battle of the high and lows.  And this morning it looks like the high pressure is losing.  Will need to watch.  I've been looking forward to a fine stretch of weather.

Rain this weekend.  Maybe early next week.  Mid week sees storms in the PNW, but it looks like maybe we start to warm up late in the week.  But that high pressure is not going to gain its ground easily.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wet Weekend.

Rain fills in for this afternoon, strongest through the early morning hours on Friday; tapering in the afternoon.  Threat of showers persist through mid day Saturday.  We have a little break Saturday evening into Sunday morning.  Rain fills back in Sunday afternoon.  That about sums it up.  There are a bunch of warnings going on out there, including mud slide warnings for areas recently burned.  We are expecting some heavy rain fall from around midnight through 8AM on Friday.  The commute will be impacted for sure.

Totals from the two weekend storms look impressive.

So, how is all this water treating California? The last system brought another 1.2% of the state out of Abnormally Dry and into Normal conditions.  It did not change any of the areas impacted more significantly.  We still have over 42% of the state listed at Extreme or Exceptional.  The good news is the storm arriving today is going to get quite a bit further south than most storms in the last several seasons.  Coming ashore near Point Conception, pushing rain into all parts of the state except the extreme desert southwest.  In fact, it will rain in all those 42% of land mentioned above, with several inches forecast in the San Bernardino and southern Sierra.  Still, the vast majority of rain will fall in NorCal with bullseyes forecast at 4" in Big Sur, 6" in the Trinity Range, and 9" near Lassen.  So, this weekend will treat us pretty well and is starting us off for a good water year.

And, now for the snow.  I have a few friends who are talking about snow and schussing.  They get super exceited this time of year when ever it rains.  So, what about the snow?  The Thurs/Fri storm is pretty damn warm.  While it is expected to get a decent amount of moisture of to the Sierra Crest (despite staying off shore until it gets south), freezing levels will be above 9000 feet.  Much of Tahoe peaks out between 8-10K.  The southern Sierra, OTOH, has some of the highest peaks, including Mt. Witney.  Areas above 10,000 feet could receive several feet of snow, setting up the base base the lower eastside has seen in years.  Fingers crossed.  The Sun/Mon storm is colder, and snow levels will drop to about 7500' or lower.  This one is impacting the north, but should be good enough to bring about a foot of snow to Tahoe.  Still several says out, so stay tuned.

Wet.  Get out this morning or look for the break Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  To early to tell, but rain could subside by Trick or Treat time Monday night.  Still, best plan on at least a wet ground.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Subtropical Absorption.

Coastal marine layer style drizzle this morning.  Another hundredth of an inch accumulated on King Street, but nothing showing inland.  At all.  This should break up fairly early and we are still hopeful for a nice autumnal sunny day.  That cooler air did not seem to get deposited, with the morning temps in the upper 50s.  I'd expect us to warm to the upper 60s, if not 70F, with the sun today.  Especially with the light south flow over the open water.  Although, warming to the 70s can take a few days in the fall, and we have more clouds, wind and rain arriving on Thursday with a boost from a dying Hurricane Seymour.  We would be stoked for the surf this thing is generating if it were typical mid summer hurricane season.  But it will be buried in what is being generated by all this rain systems.

Back to writing several hours later and that light drizzle has finally cleared.  And we accumulated another 1/100th".  As for the impeding rain, Thursday morning looks fair, with rain holding off until noonish.  This system is going to slam into Big Sur and Pt Conception, so most of the liquid will be south of us.  That said, as it runs ashore, it will spread out and give moderate rains to all of south central California.  Afternoon temps will be in the mid 60s.  Rainfall increases after dark and through the early morning hours of Friday.  Friday morning commute will be wild folks.  Be prepared.  Rain will slowly begin to taper by mid day, but expect wide spread showers to continue through sunset Friday.  Rain should dissipate by Friday morning, after dropping about an inch here in town.  Saturday morning will be a nice break from the rain.  A break, because there is more to come.

Still a lot of in the air, but the next system upstream begins bringing showers back in Saturday evening.  This system will be to our north, not south, and may sweep through quickly.  Or may drive right at us.  GFS 5 day precip totals in the Santa Cruz Mountains is over three inches, with about two here in town.  Will need to see how this plays out.  And there are more storms up stream, but it looks like those will impact the PNW directly.  More to come.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Sprinkle was Had.

Today is fairly cloudy.  And humid.  We did receive a sprinkle last night.  One to two one hundredths of an inch.  Really just a sprinkle.  A touch more than a misting.  That was pretty much the case for locations not at elevations.  A few spots in the Santa Cruz mountains are reporting between five and eight one hundredths of an inch.  A light shower they must have had.  And more is on the way.

It is looking less active out there today, but rain persists north of I80.  St Helena received over 3", Shasta Dam 2", Blue Canyon 1.25", Mill Valley .4", with many places posting near an inch on NorCal, and some select locations more than 4 inches.  None of that really made it this far south, and while we see a chance of light rain to persist through tonight, I doubt at this point that we will reach that half inch forecast.  That being said, the Friday storm is really stacking up nicely to give us a wallop.  About that in a second.  Clouds today.  Pack a light rain coat just in case if you don't want to get caught in a shower.  Wednesday is looking like it will be a break, with some sunshine.  It will be cool though (low 60s), as this system will deposit a touch of cold air before dissipating.

Thursday will warm right back up as a strong system sags south just off shore pulling in warm air from the Southwest.  We might hit 70F; it also might be raining.  Get out and enjoy it.  Warm rain is not common around here.  I think the day will actually begin to feel a little muggy, as warmth and humidity increase before the rain.  Cool stuff.  Friday won't have that problem, as the rain will be falling by then and temps will drop back down into the mid 60s.  The weekend will be cooler as the storm moves ashore, followed closely by another.  Again, more to come.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Speeding Up.

quite a bit more cloud cover today.  Looks pretty cool.  Radar sows rain near Pt Reyes currently.  The radio keeps saying rai  down to these parts by dark.  I still think this thing it together down here until tomorrow.  It does look like the rain line will set up near the Monterey/Santa Cruz border by early in the day Tuesday.  And then hang out there through mid morning on Wednesday.  All in all, it only looks like we will be getting between a quarter and half inch during this period.  But don't fret.  The second wave comes later in the week.

Clearing on Wednesday and into Thursday.  Then the next system will drop south just off the coast.  We could see some light rain start on Thursday, but the bulk looks like it will come on Friday.  This system will bring wide spread moderate rain to the state, impacting as far south as the San Bernardino range, and giving the souther Sierra their best wetting since before the drought.  Not nearly enough to start getting super excited, but it would be nice to see snow on the state's tallest mountain.

Stay cozy.  Get ready to garden.  Make some broths.  Stay tuned; there is more to come.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October to Finish off Wet.

Yup.  That is the word on the street.  You must of seen those clouds fill in this morning.  Felt like it was going to rain almost.  Moisture is streaming overhead, pushed south by a moderate low pressure system bringing rain to the PNW.  Clouds are gorgeous out there tonight. Combined with the low sun angle, sunset season is starting up.  Moderate cloud cover will keep things warm tonight, with a low in the upper 50s.  Tomorrow looks like today (Sunday), low to mid 60s with a slight chance for some afternoon showers.  This chance of rain is looking pretty slim, as the southern edge of the storm system slowly sags southward.  NorCal should see a start to a nice long period of rain though.

Surf picked up over the past weekend.  Stormy conditions most of this week.

The week will see a slight warming trend through mid week, but high temps never escape the 60s.  Tuesday afternoon/evening there is a reasonable chance for some light showers.  Light.  And they should clear out before Wednesday morning.  Cloud cover continues to keep nights warm.  As does the fact that these storms remain off shore.  The first system weakens and dissipates on Wednesday, while the next in line begins to push southward on Thursday.  This storm also remains mostly offshore, streaming moisture and warmth in.  Oh, by the way, basically south winds all week.  Anyway, I think we rain will move in sometime on Friday.  Some models are suggesting Thursday afternoon.  Some late Friday.  It really all depends on how close it gets ashore before being south of us.  It is expected to move inland on Friday/Saturday near Santa Barbara, brings a good dose of rain to much of SoCal.  They need it.

And another is modeled to arrive late Sunday night, into Halloween.  Yes folks, it could be wet on Halloween.  Not too late to dress up as a bag of garbage.  And still way too early to tell if it is an accurate forecast.  The models suggest another brief hot of rain in early November, then a classic autumn time high setting up and diverting the storms north.  This could be setting us up for an excellent winter grow season.  Get those seeds in the ground over the next week, and seedlings in next week, after the rains.  And then let the sun and its warmth do its magic.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Almost Hot, For a Day.

Tomorrow should be in the low 80s.  Not bad for mid October.  The really nice warm up I forecasted for the end of the work week won't quite come together.  Too bad.  Looks like the weather is going to remain active.  Suppressing the warm up is another low pressure system rolling off the Gulf of Alaska this weekend and pushing down the coast of BC and the PNW.  A solid rain fall is expected for Seattle.  This will cause us to cool down starting on Friday.  Highs will drop back into the low 70s, and dipping into the mid to upper 60s by Sunday.  The sky remains mostly sunny through this period.

The large surf we had over last weekend has been subsiding.  They was still sizable surf up the coast this morning, and that will continue to drop through the work week.  Another swell arrive in the evening Friday, filling in Saturday morning with what looks like very good surface conditions.  Could be a solid day for surf.  What is of a little more interest is that storm I was just talking about.  After it takes aim on the PNW, the southern fringe begins to move into northern California on Sunday morning.  Rain could push south through the day, and give us some moderate showers Sunday night into Monday morning.  This system has some cooler air, and the start of next work week should see highs only in the lower 60s.  Chances for rain persist through Tuesday.  Currently it looks like a second wave of rain could hit on Tuesday/Wednesday after a break on Monday.  More on this later.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Clearing and Warmer. Then Hot(ish).

No new rain overnight on the westside.  Nearly two inches feel since Friday morning.  That is an excellent start to the water year for town.  NorCal did very well with this storm.  Happy Valley, just down the road, received 3.9 inches of rain.  Lompico, in the Santa Cruz mountains, topped over five inches of precip.   And the Sierra got a lot as well.  While I have not checked gauges around there, it mostly fell as rain.  But Sunday afternoon the freezing level began to drop and snow fell down to at least the Judah base at Sugarbowl.  Just about a few inches there.  Enough to make things look pretty.  Still waiting on reports, but there could be a foot or more of snow above 8000 feet, and about 9200 feet there might be a significant base.  Too bad most resorts top out below 9k.  Guess we still need to wait for ski season to begin.

An inch plus at 6900'

Weather makes a turn toward sun and warmth this week.  It is going to be so very different than this past weekend.  This morning starts damp, but the cloud ceiling is already higher, lifting and thinning.  The sun should be out in earnest by afternoon, and as it warms the earth, water vapor will mist off the land.  Creeks and outflows are running.  Waterfalls might be going through today.  As we dry up, the water flows will slow, or stop.  So get it while good.  We are headed to the Pogonip this afternoon to do some stomping.  High of about 68F today.  Sun through the weekend.  A bit warmer Tuesday, then upper 70s on Wednesday and mid 80s Thursday and Friday.  Then we will begin a cooling trend starting on Saturday. Though, it will still be a very nice weekend.

Waiting for some more clean surf...

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Another three fourths of an inch has fallen in town since the rain picked back up yesterday evening, bringing our totals to about 1.15".  Lompico picked up another 1.65" and Happy Valley 1.4", pushing there totals between 2.5 and 3 inches.  The rain is still falling quite heavy, but should taper off a bit in the next few hours.  The the third round should be filling in by later today.  There is a chance that we could see a break around mid to late morning, and lasting through early afternoon.  A chance.  Of course, we could also see the storms run into each other.  I've been saying welcome to fall, but this one feels much more like a December storm, so welcome to late fall.

All of this inclement weather wraps it self up by Monday morning.  Likely before the sun rises the rain will cease.  The ground will remain wet, so drive with caution during that commute Monday morning.  It will remain cool, with highs reaching into the upper 60s.  Afternoon will feel nice as the sun begins to poke through the clouds.  Winds remain onshore, but much much lighter.  By Tuesday, things begin to really shape up as we enter a warming trend.  The sun breaks out.  Free even of morning fog, it will be classic early fall wether.  Highs rise into the mid 70s Tuesday, upper 70s Wednesday, the top out in the low to mid 80s to finish the work week.  There will still be light to moderate on shores from the NW during this period, so not quite epic weather.  Just awesome weather.  By the weekend, temps moderate into the upper 70s.  It is gonna be a great run.

If you are planning on putting in a winter garden, and have not yet done so, now is the time.  That ground is nicely wetted.  It will warm up in next week's sun.  It is germinating weather people.  Seedling weather.  While it might seem a bit hot for seedlings, that sun is low in the sky, allowing warmth not burning.  Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, fava, and dill are just a few of the things that thrive through the winter around here.  Garlic gets planted next month.

Stay cozy.  We went looking for puddles to stomp yesterday and found dry holes where the earth had already sucked in all the water.  Perhaps today we will have more luck.  And don't forget the sunblock next week.

11:21Am Update.  Wow.  Over an inch so far this morning.  Breezy out there.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Saturday morning break.

Not raining right now as I type.  Santa Cruz only received about a 1/4" here on the west side of twon.  Sure felt like more than that, but I was out at Happy Valley during the heaviest rain.  The closest gauge to where I was shows over an inch of rain yesterday.  Scott Valley records about .4 inches and Lompico 1.4 inches.  Micro climates.  A solid rain day for mid October, especially considering there is more to come.  Get out there early today to enjoy some puddle stomping or artificial turf soccer ball kicking.  This next system looks fairly matured and will run into us later this afternoon and evening.  It is just about 50F here in town this morning; expect things to warm to about 65F.

Pushing the clean surf that is coming back next week.  

It still looks like we will only get light showers at the most during the daylight hours today.  The biggest push seems to come after midnight Saturday.  We should see some moderate rain lasting through sunrise on Sunday, and tapering through mid day.  Another half inch is expected here in town with more in the mountains.  A third wave arrive mid day, and fills the rain back in.  We may not even notice the afore mentioned tapering.  Moderate showers now look like they will move as far south as Big Sur Sunday evening into Monday morning.  Rain should end by around sunrise Monday.  Still plan for a wet commute as the roads at least will be slick.  All said and done, we should get up to about 1.5" here in town and several in the Santa Cruz mountains.  The north Sierra is looking at 5 plus inches and the NW part of the state could be pushing ten inches in total water accumulation in select locations.  SoCal, where the water is most needed remains dry as a bone.

Plan for beach weather next week.  Big somewhat stormy surf out there this morning.  Might be worth a paddle if you like a challenge.  Things settle by Monday with still some moderate size surf.  Conditions improve significantly.  The sun comes out.  Low 80's by end of next work week.  Welcome to fall in Santa Cruz.

And a quick snow update.  All rain below 9K yesterday, so the resorts are mostly dry.  Still good wetting occurred and the peaks look pretty.  The Sunday evening round of rain might be a bit cooler, with snow down to 7000 feet, which is below base level for a few resorts, and near base level for most others.  Still are not expecting snow down to the lake just yet.  But hey, it is not even Halloween.  And it is not 2004 (we had 5 feet on the ground at 7K by Halloween that year!!)

Friday, October 14, 2016

It is raining.

Well, last night I decided to go to sleep instead of posting up.  Figured I wait till morning.  And now it is raining.  Four one hundredths of an inch so far on the west side of town.  Plenty more to come.  A quick look at the radar suggests this is just wrapping off the storm and into the local hillsides.  The main part of the system is still well north with the first heavy bands currently near Point Reyes.  Expect fair amount of rain today.  In the Santa Cruz mountains totals could exceed an inch by Saturday morning.  The heaviest rain will come through late morning to mid day and last through evening.  By the early morning hours on Saturday, we should see a break in the precip.  Clouds persist.  High in the upper 60s today.  Rain pushes as far south as Big Sur, with about an inch expected there this evening.  The northern portion of the state is going to get walloped with water and upper elevation snow.

The fall surf season is in full swing.  

It looks like most of the daylight portion of Saturday will be cloudy, but not raining.  Rain will fill in later, and mostly to our north.  Still, expect some possible evening showers, with rain coming after midnight and filling in through Sunday morning.  It looks fairly wet on Sunday through the day, with the heaviest precip currently forecast for the afternoon.  All of that should be east of us by Monday, and high pressure begins to fill back in.

Two more things.  Big swell turning huge over the weekend.  Strong south winds on it now tearing it to bits.  Be careful when approaching the ocean this weekend and maybe give your health a chance and sit it out.  Bacteria levels are likely to be off the hook when the lagoons release due to all the rain.  And second, it still looks like we get hot again next week.  Oh yeah.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rain is a Coming.

Fun moderate swell the past few days.  Calm conditions were a plus.  This cool foggy weather will soon turn to cool wet weather.  Thursday should be similiar to the past few days.  Rain moves slowly down the coast Friday.  Commuters be ready.  The first rains pull out the oils and slick the road.  Rain arrive overnight for the city (that is SF), and moves south through the morning.  We should not be surprised by light rain before noon here in town, but the bulk looks to arrive in the early afternoon hours, tapering into the evening.  Like a half an inch or so.  Saturday morning we could escape showers, but another wave is expected for Saturday evening.  A third on Sunday evening might be deflected to our north.   And the forth on Monday evening will most certainly, as high pressure sets in.  We could see temps as warm as 80F by the middle of next week.  Love this place.

I'll try to get a better look at how much, when and where, but for now plan for a wet weekend in Santa Cruz.  The mornings look like the best bet to get outside.  Or just get out them wellies and slickers and go a stomping.  Surf looks to really pick up this weekend, with some XXL stuff possible for Sunday/Monday.  Conditions looks questionable at this point, and possibly stormy.  Be careful if you are going out.  And consider run-off.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Winter is coming.

Swell.  Rain.  Chilliness.  It is all coming or already here.  A fun sized long period swell hit from the northwest yesterday.  More comes Thursday, and possibly a big swell for next Monday.  But the big news for most will be the rain storm coming this Friday.  This is not your typical mid October surprise that brings a quarter inch of rain and is gone after 12 hours.  We can expect rain to arrive sometime Friday and fall off and on through Monday, dropping well over an inch in town, and two and half in the local mountains.  Parts of the northern Sierra and coast are looking at upwards of 5 inches, and the crest near Tahoe at about three inches.  Impressive amounts of wind will come with this system.  Button down the hatches folks.  Bring in things from the yard.  Close the car window.  This is going to be a great start to our water year.

Cool and foggy through Thursday.  Some breaks in the grey mid day.  South flow.  Highs in the upper 60s, with overnight lows in the mid to upper 50s.  I'll post up more details about the weekend before Thursday evening.  There.  I made a promise.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Opener?

Today there will was little bit of NPAC wind swell in the the water.  Nothing impressive by local October standards.  But a little taste.  The opener is brewing out past by the dateline today.  We will have a small to moderate long period swell arriving late in the day Sunday.  Get your game ready.  We have some nice weather to enjoy on the way there.  The warming trend peaks out Friday and Saturday with temps in the low 80s.  Friday will have some moderate afternoon winds, but Saturday looks like it will be fairly calm.  Could be some awesome beach weather.

Sunday will be a touch cooler, in the mid 70s.  Next work week we see a cold front move through with temps in the low 70s Monday and upper 60s Tuesday.  A low pressure will move ashore in the PNW mid week, with a very slight chance that we could see light rain as far south as the Bay Area.  Doubt we will, but it is worth staying tuned.  At the very least, we will see cooler weather next week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


A drizzle and heavy, humid day here in town.  A few inches of snow on the peaks.  And stirrings in the northern Pacific.  We are in the turn.  A low cloud layer this morning will give way to sun, moderate north west breezes and some warmth.  It should hit 70F this afternoon for the first time in a few days.  No real change.  Warming trend through the end of the week.  Topping at about 80F.  Not quite hot weather, but pleasant warm autumnal weather.  Crisp mornings with overnight lows in the low to mid 50s.  Good ripening weather.  Not so good setting weather.

I've recently planted fava, which should over winter nicely, and string beans, which I hope to have a quick harvest of around the holidays.  If we have a nice fall, that could be the result.  Or runts.  Anyway, the long range still have some storms coming our way.  I'm not counting on that happening just yet, but I'll keep an eye out and post up here.

Smaller surf this week with the souths out of the picture.  Small NW mid period wind swell builds through Thursday.  Waist high in town, and maybe head high at OB.  Looks like we could be seeing much more coming out of the NPAC next week.

Monday, October 3, 2016


I was much cooler this weekend.  And I felt two drops on my cheek yesterday afternoon while hanging with the kids at Wilder Ranch.  But nothing really fell around here.  A dusting fell in the mountains.  The Kirkwood cam looked mostly white early his morning and there were reports of snow down to 5000 feet around Reno.  Chilly.  The next wave pushes through today, mostly to our north.  And while the PNW stays wet for the week, we will begin drying.  Today, Monday, will see some clouds later in the day and remain cool in the low 60s.  Tuesday sees its clouds in the morning, and warms to the upper 60s.  From there we see more sun and more warmth building all week, with a chance of hitting just about 80F for the weekend.

Things are getting active in the NPAC.  We may see some smaller N and NW swells being generated this week.  When we look into the mid and long term models, we see an increasingly active pattern with more, larger swells being generated.  It even suggests a moderate rain storm for around the 16th.  That is way too far out to have any certainty at all.  Still, it is interesting to see.

The Loma fire has burned almost 4,500 acres and is now 81% contained.  Shout out to all of our fire fighters working hard out there.  The fire is no longer visible from Santa Cruz, as it is burning down toward Santa Clara on the far side of the hill.  But there are still many local residents out of their homes.  Apparently, some base humans are out and about soliciting donations for the fire victims, under the name of Cal Fire, illegally and  pocketing the money.  Don't give to these guys.  If you want to help, contact one of these organizations:

  • Salvation Army of Gilroy: Address: 6701 Camino Arroyo, Gilroy, CA 95020, Phone: (408) 842-3991 ~ Accepting in-kind donations of clothing, household goods and toys.
  • Salvation Army of Santa Cruz: Address: 812 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, Phone: (831) 429-8118 ~ Accepting in-kind donations of clothing, bedding, materials, as well as any food donations.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank: Address: 800 Ohlone Pkwy, Watsonville, CA 95076, Phone: (831) 722-7110 ~ Accepting any bulk food donations or smaller items.

  • We are into October and the weather machine is turned back on.  Stay posted here. I'll be posting up several times a week until we start to see some real excitement.  Until then.

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Welcome to Autumn

    Fires.  Surf.  Heat.  And now maybe some rain.  This is autumn here on the Central Coast.  I'm back folks.  The turn is here and the weather and surf are going into their interesting phases.  We had some heat this past weekend and the Loma Prieta Fire was sparked in the midst of it on Monday.  We have nearly 1,800 fire fighters and 170 engines up there.  Containment is at 22% this morning, with 3,849 acres burned.  Those fires move fast.  Cooler weather that moved in yesterday is helpful.  As is the marine layer.  Although, brisk afternoon northwest winds sure don't help.

    This cooler, foggier summer like weather will persist through Saturday.  Actually, it is a bit warm for summer, with highs in the low 70s.  Fog in the mornings.  Brisk winds on Friday afternoon.  Now, what is making this week interesting is the low pressure system sitting to our north and west.  Nothing big, or too strong, but it is wet.  Over the next few days it is forecast to shift east into the PNW, and spread south over the weekend, brining us a chance of rain as early as Sunday.  And snow for the Sierra.  Cooler weather arrives on Sunday, and southwest winds as well.  As the core shifts south, we could see light rain showers develop during the day Sunday.  Timing still TBD.  We could be waiting until Monday.  Or see no rain at all.  It is October after all.  Still a little bit early to be counting our inches.  Total rainfall likely to be much less than a half inch.  More to come.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Big Storm for the Rockies.

    We will get some cooler air come Wednesday evening, but likely most won't notice it much.  The Sierra could get a dusting of snow and freezing temps down below 7000F.  Tahoe will see afternoon highs drop from about 80F to 50F.  The Wasatch (near Salt Lake City) could be receiving multiple feet of snow.  Out in the Gulf of Alaska weak low pressure is dominant in the west and a high in the east.   We are starting to see a swing toward fall, and even winter like weather.   A slow shift.  Locally, it feels kind of like summer this morning.  Upper 50s and foggy.

    Expect more of the same over the next few days, with it being a bit cooler Thursday and into Friday.  After that we see a return to warmer, sunnier weather, not dissimilar from this past Saturday through Monday.  Ahhh.  Hot autumn.  Actually, it won't be hot like Sunday.  More warm like Monday.  That high pressure slowly builds east and west, and will become the dominant feature in the Gulf through the next week.  We should see sunnier, warming weather, but it may shift north, which would bring a wind gradient, and perhaps fog.  Will keep an eye on next week. For now, the weekend looks excellent.  Upper 70s and sunny, with lighter winds.  Until then, upper 60s/low 70s, morning fg and afternoon onshore breezes.

    I don't see much in the way of autumn swell makers on the charts until October.  So, not a complete shift.  The SPAC will send a swell for this weekend.  Then we might be looking at a week plus with no significant swells.  Make of it what you can, and remember that the NPAC will turn on soon enough.

    PS.  It has been great weather for tomatoes.  More ripening every day.