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.

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