Friday, April 22, 2016

It is raining.

One of my readers called me this morning to complain the blog has not been updated in a few days, thus making it harder to determine what day to chase the snow this weekend.  Thought I was back on track, then my motor cracked a hole in itself.  Dealt with that and moving on.  It is raining.  Actually, there is a break right now, but it was dumping an hour or so again.  Looking at the radar, there is more likely to come later today and into the evening.  It should clear to clouds only after midnight.  Next few days look cooler, in the mid to upper 60s.  By mid day Saturday it will be mostly sunny.  A marine layer looks to creep back in early Sunday morning.

The next storm effects the Sierra and NorCal on Monday.  We should remain in the 60s, but be fairly sunny.  Imagine more of the variable spring weather we have been enjoying.  By the latter half of next week, we see another chance for more rainfall.  A good end to April.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cooler, wetter weather returning.

April showers do bring May flowers.  The water year isn't over yet.  It ain't over till October, but what I mean it looks like there is a chance for the state to get significant rainfall again this coming weekend.  While this system does look to be focused mainly on NorCal, there should still be a decent accumulation into the Southern Sierra Nevada and down the coast to Point Conception, with minor accumulations south of there.  Before then, we have some fine weather on tap.  Not hot like it has been recently, but more like perfect.  Light winds, sunshine with some high afternoon clouds, and afternoons in the low 70s through Wednesday.  By Thursday, a moderate late season low will push south and east, and into the west coast.  It will bring with it much cooler air, cloud cover, and to some regions, significant rain.

Looking north from University Peak, southern Sierra Nevada.

This morning's GFS suggest that rainfall will likely hold off until late Friday night here in Santa Cruz.  I don't really trust spring models.  There is a small circulation of moisture currently west of us.  It is forecast to break apart before moving ashore ahead of the bigger system arriving Thurs/Fri.  Some of that moisture could get pushed int the coastal mountains and bring showers on Thursday.  Whatever does develop looks pretty light at that point.  Regardless, the air will be cooler with afternoon temps in the low to mid 60s.  The main low pushes across our area early Saturday morning, and that is when a more sustained showery period looks like it could commence.  All in all, not a heavy rain event for Santa Cruz.  But moderate for late April.  Things could linger through late in the day Monday.  And there could be more moisture by Thursday.  Spring showers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Humid, with an increasing chance of rain.

Fun weather we have been having.  Upper elevations see a slight chance of a passing shower this afternoon.  We could even see small thunderstorms on the Sierra west slope with the afternoon warming.  For us here in town, we will see mostly clouds along the Santa Cruz mountains by afternoon, as a morning marine layer fades.  I would not be surprised if there are showers along westerly facing slopes today.  We got a tenth to two tenths of an inch here on Sunday.  Felt wetter than that in my yard, but it was pretty damn light.  It was a good day for the state, though.  More on that later.

It was a fun winter.  Mike drops in.

Tomorrow we se the southern end of an approaching trough coming ashore in the PNW.  In fact, the OR/CA is expecting to pick up several inches of rain.  This will be a fast moving storm, arriving in the evening, and hitting overnight.  It may not reach far enough south to hit us, although I do expect some accumulation.  It is a cut off system, and if we luck out with it dipping a bit further south, we could see up to a half inch of rain.  More likely a tenth on a inch.  And it is bringing cold air.  Thursday morning will be cold, and the afternoon will be just about 60F.  Sun returns on Friday, and expect to be back up into the low 70s by the weekend.  Things look clear through Monday, but there may be another cut off low next week, and a return to more humid weather with moisture riding over top.  Fun spring.  Almost feels like growing up back east.

Now for some really good news.  The last few weeks of March and first week of April we have been seeing some positive impact on the drought condition.  Santa Cruz county is now about 90% classified as Abnormally Dry, with 10% as Moderate Drought.  That is much better than which we started the winter with.  And while it may look very good locally, and better than a year ago statewide, as of April 5th over 30% of the state was still classified as Exceptional Drought, over 55% was at least Extreme and nearly 75% was at least Severe.  The bulk of this runs through the central valley and areas east and south.  The north western portion of the state received a lot of rain this winter, and the southwest nearly none.  Until this past weekend.  I will wait until next week's report to release, but I am hopefully optimistic that we made a small dent in those regions that were dry this winter.  Unfortunately, the Sierra still seems plagued with varying degrees of Severe or greater degrees of drought.  That would lead me to suspect that the snow pack, while the best we have seen in years, will react much like a thin snow pack as the local earth soaks up much of what melts on the peaks this spring and summer.  Reservoirs will still remain in danger of not collecting enough water to serve or normal consumption levels.  In short, please continue to conserve water, especially as you begin to water your gardens more and more often.  Get a bucket out for tomorrow and collect rain water.  Take care of the rest of the state.  We need them too.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Warm Days

Surf subsides and the weather warms.  Good chances for 80F by Wednesday.  That will be the peak, as another round of storms start to impact the west coast.  This next one is coming from south of us, as a cut off low forms off the coast, and inclement weather wraps in from the south side of the system.  These cut off lows are super hard to forecast, especially in shoulder season.  So.  Not making any promises.  But what it looks like now is that moisture will wrap into SoCal as early as Friday, then the entire system moves ashore and spreads showers north across the state over the weekend.  We are not looking at a heavy rain event, but rather a light, sporadic and wide spread event.

Snowy hills make me smile.

Right now we can begin to expect light showers in Santa Cruz starting late Friday, with greater chances and intensity on Saturday.  High temps will drop back down into the upper 60s on Thursday, and low 60s for Friday and through the weekend.  It does look like the system could clear through on Sunday, but wet, showery weather is currently in the forecast for much of next week.  Again, these are all hard to forecast cut-off spring system lows, so details are very much up in the air.  Just don't be caught off guard because it is warm this week and it feels like spring is here.  Enjoy it this week.  Plan for rainy day activities next.  The wet season has not quite finished yet.  And that is the best news I can give, as we still have not hit 100% of our water year average yet, and to get over this drought, we needed about 250%.