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.