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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Battle Fronts

Sunday was warm.  My inaccurate car thermometer registered 101F on King Street at 3:30 in the afternoon.  That was not too far off, as a nearby gauge topped at 100.4F at 4:37PM.  Like I said, warm.  And a while back on the 12th we got some actual rain.  3/100 of an inch.  Not too much, but it certainly did rain for a bit.  The seasons are struggling to change as we approach equinox.  Over the next ten days we could see a shift to more fall like weather.  As in warmer, less fog, and eventually light winds.

First things will cool off a touch from yesterday's warmth.  Monday is forecast to reach just about 80F.  We may warm more than that, but by Wednesday, we should see a more dominant marine layer  This will block sun and drop temps to the lower 70s.  Still not as cool as that chill hey called August.  Holy cow was that nipper.  I am all in for the sun.  So are my tomatoes.  So much happier.  Anyway, we shift back toward sun and warming late in the work week, with a good chance of being back in the 80s for the coming weekend.

As we shift seasons, so does the swell direction.  A fresh NW is in the water this morning.  The first of the season, other than a few small, short period burst in the pst few weeks.  5'@14s this morning should be offering up head high waves.  Bigger if you head north.  Kind of fun to see it starting.  There may be another pulse late in the work week, then we wait.  Speaking of waiting, the monarch migration will begin soon with all the change in the air.  Can't wait.  Autumn is my favorite time of year here in Santa Cruz.