Thursday, January 21, 2016

A confluence of factors...

Friday night will be a humdinger.  And it will feel a bit different than other recent storms.  It will be strong.  We have been experiencing fairly weak storms about every two to three days, for about a month now.  That has slowly added up to a fair amount of water.  It has decently saturated our soils, and with this last storm, have seen an increase in flooding and creeks spilling over their banks.  More of that is to come on Friday night.  And just to add some fun to the mix, we will be seeing a large west swell arrive in conjunction with King Tides.  The morning high tides on Friday and Saturday will be about six and a half feet.  Expect some action down by the water front.

Winter in the Sierra.

We are still expecting a a gorgeous day today, with sunshine and highs in the mid 60s across town.  Tonight will have clouds, and by early morning we can plan on moderate rain.  That will turn to showers during the late morning.  This first wave is mostly light and should bring about a third of an inch of rain to town.  The second wave is not looking to arrive a little early, by late afternoon on Friday.  It will bring with it some gusty south west winds, and a cold air.  Our heaviest rain will fall from about sunset until midnight on Friday night.  Showers will linger through Saturday noon.  This second wave should bring over an inch of rainfall with it, falling mostly in an eight hour period.  That typically means flooding, especially when falling on mostly saturated soils.  Beware of steep slopes.

This storm is also likely to bring several feet of snow to the Sierra.  This is great news.  Snowpack is currently at about 125% of date.  More is welcome.  Both for recreating and for storing our summer supply of water runoff.  If you schuss, this is the best season in four years to get out up there.  It has been good almost every day since early December.  The crowds are gone after last weekend's holiday.  Perhaps it is time to get your self up there to play in the snow.  The surf, on the other hand, will be fairly poor through Saturday, with strong southerly winds ripping apart and otherwise nice west swell.  We have had plenty of waves, but not a whole lot of clean conditions.  Although, starting Sunday, that should improve.

We are still in line to enjoy a period of dry weather lasting five days.  Whoopee!  The GFS is forecasting a devastatingly wet storm arriving next Friday and lasting through until early Sunday.  This one has two plus inches falling on the coast, with much more than that projected for the Sierra.  It could be a humdinger on steroids.  Something to watch for sure.

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