Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rainy Period Approaching.

Today, Tuesday, will be another splendid day.  Not hot (yes, it actually was hot) like yesterday, but nice and warm.  About 70F on King Street.  A bit cooler closer to the water and exposed locations.  Overnight lows are trending up.  It is about 40F now.  Daytime highs will trend down.  And cloud cover will increase on Wednesday.  It will be the transition day with highs in the mid 60s.  There is a good chance of light rain developing by nightfall.

With that cloud cover, Thursday morning will be in the mid 40s, with the daytime high rising to just the upper 50s.  It is going to feel chilly after yesterday's warmth.  Light to moderate rain through the morning hours, with breaks possible mid day.  We could see a half inch or more through the period.  It will remain warm overnight, with Friday morning in the low 50s.  More rain comes in early Friday, followed by a cold front mid day.  Could be heavy at times.  And now it looks like that rain could persist through the coming weekend.  Another inch plus of rain by mid day Saturday.

I'll keep looking at the models, as they are shifting back toward a wet solution through early next week.  There still appears to be another prolonged dry period developing, but time will tell.  Get out there today and enjoy your last day of sunshine.  And clean up the yard of anything you may have left out due to the fine weather.  Get those bikes under cover, put away the garden tools and close those windows.  We will return to the wet in the coming days.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Toasty end to January

Yesterday the temps topped out at about 75F on King Street, staying about 70F from about 1:30 to 5PM.  Not too shabby for late January.  Today is projected to be even warmer.  My son came home from a walk on Saturday mid day and tore off his pants and insisted on hanging in his underwear due to what he called the "extreme heat".  It was not that warm, but he is 5, and has a touch of the dramatic.  Mornings were, and remain crisp.  But that sun shine sure feels nice.

We have a series of storms developing and approaching the Central Coast mid week.  Clouds will increase on Wednesday, with rain returning to the area by late Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday look wet.  Nothing like the storms of January, but we are looking at a few inches through the end of the work week.  Clearing for the weekend.  Details to follow.

Get out there and enjoy this fine fine weather.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Nearly half of the state is out of surface water drought as of last Tuesday.  We did not see any appreciable rain across the state since then, so we can assume no additional change. No portion of the state is still in Exceptional Drought, with just a hair over 2% (around Santa Barbara) in extreme drought.  To round it out, just a hair under 25% is in Moderate Drought and a hair less than that in Severe Drought.  These are some really good numbers and some good news.  There is some more good news for the drought in the long term forecast models.  We will get to that in a moment.

It is crisp out there this morning.  37F currently in my neighborhood.  The sun is coming up and offering a glorious start of the day.  It will warm to near 60F today.  Over the coming weekend it will be even warmer as the high pressure bubbles up upon us bringing in warmth  It looks like we will hit the peak on Monday, in the mid 60s.  Does anyone miss the drought, even just a little bit?  I recall mid 70s for over a week in the winter.  Beach days.  Sure, we need this water, and this snow, and I like it (really), but I do crave tucking my toes in the sand as well.  Anyway, back to the forecast, we will begin to see day time highs drop starting on Tuesday as another large, wet storm system starts to take shape to our west.

This one looks like its leading edge could come ashore sometime on Wednesday.  This morning's model run suggest a late evening start time to the rain, lasting into Friday morning.  Previous runs had it arriving mid day Wednesday.  It has looked like a slow moving system for the last few runs regardless, and likely to last 36-48 hours.  Initially, it runs right atop us, then begins to pull north.  So we should see moderate to heavy rain, shifting to showers.  Of course, this is still 6 days out, so confidence is low.

It looks like a break next weekend, with more storms lined up in the long term.  Several more.  Looks like Ma Nature is giving us just a long enough break to see some of that surface water percolate down to the aquifers before bringing us more rain to handle.  Good on her.  While we work our way out of surface water drought, we still need to replenish the ground water we have been sucking on for years.
Have a good weekend folks.  Time to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather and the abundance of greenery here in Santa Cruz.  Go find a waterfall.  They are going off right now.  Or simply enjoy a Pogonip stroll.  Or watch the surf action today.  Yesterday the last in a series of large swell arrived.  This one to clean local conditions.  It will be a great weekend to get outside.  We have more rain on the way.  I'll keep an eye out on this next train of storms and report back here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Warming Trend

For the first time in months we have a legitimate warming trend to report on.  We will be in the sixties this weekend.  Yipee.  For now it is cool.  Lots of frost out there this morning.  The rest of the work week will inch up through the 50s for afternoon highs with overnight lows in the mid 30s.  It bottomed out around 34F in our neighborhood last night.  Slowly warming through the low 40s as of 9AM.

Kirkwood has received 24.5 feet this month.  Not an all time record, but plenty impressive. They are still digging out the resort and will likely have the backside opening tomorrow.  As long as we don't see a strong east wind event, things are going to be skiing excellent this coming week.  Weathercat is reporting 11+ inches of rain this month for Santa Cruz.  That is a low reading, as compared to areas with elevation in the county.  We will dry out for a bit here.  Not for ten days though.  It looks like we have a chance for a nice sized system by Wednesday of next week.  We are still a week out, so no promises.  Got to keep an eye on this one, as this morning's forecast suggests a strong storm lasting two days.  At least we will dry out a bit first.

Monday, January 23, 2017

So it continues....

This rounds has been a little less wet than expected in town, but it has over delivered in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Elevations makes a difference here.  Town has received just over 1.6 inches since late Saturday night.  Meanwhile, Scotts Valley has topped 3.75 inches.  All that rain in the hills has the rivers raging, mud is sliding and the sink holes are sinking.  Nelson Road and Glenwood Drive in Scotts Valley are both impassable due to the road sinking into the earth or being washed out.  Paradise Park in the San Lorenzo river has flooded.  Highway 17 experienced closures yesterday due to mud slides.  It is crazy out there.  But there is also a light at the end of the tunnel.

Showers have become more sporadic across the state.  We will likely see more rain through out the day, but there will be longer dry periods, and the showers will be lighter.  The final part of this storm train moves in through the evening today, ramping up more rain.  But it will be short lived.  We are looking at maybe a tenth of an inch through the daylight hours, and perhaps a quarter this evening.  There is still a chance we could top out at two inches here in town.  By tomorrow though, we will see some real clearing.

Winds are expected to turn easterly today, as this system pushes to the south. As bad as things seem around here, it is nothing compared to SoCal is experiencing.  Streets are flooded all over the L.A. basin,  and the local mountains down there are getting hit very hard.  While we do need the water, it is hard to absorb this much within just a few days.

The sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there be sun.  In the afternoon.  It remains cool though, with highs in the upper 50s through at least the work week.  The air mass warms a bit and we may see low 60s for the weekend.  The jury is still out on how long this sunny period will last, but at the very least, we can expect a week or more of glorious sunshine.  Now that we have watered the garden, let the plants grow.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

More to Come.

Last night we saw another inch of rain (2+ in Scotts Valley) and some strong winds.  I arrived home late after spending the day chasing after the snow.  Lots of time of the road, and lots of very deep snow to play in.  Pulling into my driveway the entire front yard of palms and bushes was swaying to and fro.  While I was awakened early this morning by a flash flood alert, the day so far is calm.  Do not be fooled. There is much more to come.  It is still raining heavily just to our south and the center of circulations is still well to our north.  We just need to wait for the next cell to arrive.  Forecast is calling for another inch to two here in Santa Cruz by mid day Monday.  Most of that falling before dark today; so plan on some more rainy weather.  And a somewhat wet Monday morning commute.

Showers potentially lingering through Tuesday morning, then high pressure to take over.  Basically, this system is to stay centered off shore, sagging to the south.  SoCal is getting hit pretty hard with this series of storms.  That means a lot of snow for the souther Sierra and other high peaks, as well as plenty of rain for the valleys.  The sun will come out in earnest by sundown on Tuesday and Wednesday looks like a beautiful day.  We need to keep an eye on Thursday as a low pressure will try to skirt to our north,  What ever happens with that, it will be short lived and we look to have a gorgeous run of weather setting up for us later in the week.

Friday, January 20, 2017

afternoon update....

Been kind of nice out.  Sun popped out for a bit.  A few showers.  A new cell just ran ashore in Marin.  We may not be out of the weeds just yet.  Stay prepared for sudden squalls. Maybe we get lucky and it stays clear through the afternoon.  Maybe this thing just arrived a bit early.  Like the last storm.  It's already dropped 1.6 inches.  That is plenty enough to please the forecaster.

This thing is still not completely ashore with the center of rotation just off the OR coast.  Most of the moisture is south of us, where the drought is still severe.  Sun is trying to break through again.

Twas Duummmmping.

It was just around 5:30 this morning.  A ton of water fell from the sky.  It backed off a bit, then stopped for a while.  Moderate to heavy rain back in at 6:45.  This system feel like it has the squall effect going on.  Look out for sudden heavy bursts of rain through the morning hours.  The rain should let off a good bit late in the day.  With the tenth of an inch that fell before midnight, we are already up to one and a half inches of rain here in town this morning.  Rain started around 1AM, and the half hour from 5:30-6:00 netted .4 inches of rain.  There is a lot of water out there looking for a place to go.  The tide is currently high, so river egress is slow and swelling increased.

We had a short break of no rain, but a quick look at the radar suggest another cell is behind this one.  And we are actually on the northern fringe of the current cell.  It looks like it just unloaded in the Salinas Valley.  Rainfall totals are going to be impressive. Also impressive is how far south this thing reaches; it in fact seems to be more concentrated south of here.  The midnight run forecast about an inch and half more rain by noon, with another quarter inch by night fall.  If that holds true, we will likely have some significant road and power issues develop.  The good news is we are not expecting wind like we saw the other night.  This storm will have some breezy periods, but mostly sub 30mph.

This is looking like quite a little system people, but pales in what is forecast for Sunday into Monday.  At least on the statewide level.  For us here, we see a bit of a break on Saturday.  With a little luck, the sun will come out.  It poked about a bit yesterday, before shielding itself behind a cloud layer.  The next system moves in later on Saturday night with the heavy rain arriving just before sunrise.  We are expecting rain like this morning's persisting for maybe 10 hours.  So the daylight hours on Sunday look pretty wet.  Movie maybe?  Lighter rain overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.  We will end up with several inches.  SoCal mountains and the Sierra are looking at upwards of five inches of precipitation, across larges areas.

Then we get a break.  Details still sorting out, but sunny by Wednesday.  High pressure settling in.  Some warmth developing.  No too much.  Skiing should be the best in years once this all clears out.  If you hope to ski this storm, be wise, plan your trip, and make sure you know what you are getting into.  Mountain travel will be hazardous, and passes will close.  Last week, Rt88 was closed for five days.  So, yeah, be prepared.  Here in town the surf will build today, to a peak tomorrow.  It is going to be huuuuuuuuuge.  And stormy.  If you are venturing out to looks at what fury mother nature can stir, stand well clear of the cliffs.  The danger is not just from the waves sweeping up and over, but the super saturated earth that just wants to flow like water.

I'll post up here on Sunday, but tomorrow is a travel day.  Be safe.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Swift and Early.

I was wondering yesterday around 5PM if this system was just early, or much stronger than anticipated.  1.25" fell in my neighborhood all before 9:30PM yesterday.  We have received only a few hundredths since then.  For a storm that was forecast to rage overnight, this one clearly came in early.  The good news is we have a fairly nice day on tap today because of it.  Chance for showers through the morning, but little rain through the bulk of today.  But this evening is when the fun starts.  The second storm in the series fills in tonight.  Another inch expected through the day on Friday, with showers lingering into Friday night.  The big news will be the surf.  And coastal flooding.

The good news is that the high high is not all that high.  They will occur prior to sunrise.  With the rivers swollen, and a major swell expected to hit, low lying areas will still be prone to ocean flooding.   I'm talking to you Lake Moran.  Anyway, rain tapers on Saturday morning.  On Friday a large, long period well begins to arrive and expected to peak on Saturday at 20 feet at 17 seconds.  That would send Mavs into the 40 foot range.  On West Cliff surf will range from 15' upwards to 30 foot at Middle Peak.  The zone near Mitchell's Cove and Woodrow will likely see surf coming onto the road.  Please use extreme caution when approaching the water this coming weekend.  With that super saturated earth, you can expect for some portions of the cliff to fall into the sea.  Big time stuff here.

About a foot of sow fell in the Sierra since yesterday morning.  Another foot expected on Friday.  Setting up for a good weekend for schussing, but not bluebird.  Another storm is fast approaching behind number two and should be here by late in the day Saturday.  This one is look the wettest of the bunch.  Kind of a flip from the last rainy period that started strong and ended mild.  We will need to watch the Sunday system, but likely it will make the Monday commute hellish.  And cause some local flooding, downed trees and the such.

I've heard a lot of people starting to talk about how we don't need any more rain; that the reservoirs are full and all of this just runs to the sea.  But we do need more rain.  This will help to slowly refresh our ground water and aquifers that have been dried out over the last half decade and more.  Further, more rain helps to flush out the rivers, create sand bars and refresh habitats.  We are not done yet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And so it begins.

The second series of storms for the month of January are knocking on our door.  There was a quick bout of light rain this morning, but that has subsided.  It did not show on the gauge so I assume it was less than 1/100 of an inch.  Forecast still calls for the rain moving in after sunset.  Heavy tonight.  Heavy enough that the Thursday morning commute could be a bear.  In town the forecast totals were bumped up to an inch and a half for town with over two inches in the mountains.  We could see some serious water drop, as that is the precipitation by noon on Thursday.  Most of that falls during the dark hours of the night.  In fact, 1.69" is the forecast bullseye, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, from midnight through 6AM.  Watch out for flash floods in low lying areas, and keep an eye out for that mud sliding.  It should not be as bad as last week, but the earth is still draining, and this new water will try to run along the surfaces.

This system moves south along the coast by mid day Thursday.  Showers continue through the day.  We hang in the mid 50s.  We could see breaks in the rainy weather, so time it well, and you can play outside.  Just be ready for a shower.  A good afternoon to stomp some fresh puddles, and wear a slicker.  It looks like we will have a dry period during the light night hours Thursday.  By Friday morning, the next system will move ashore.  This one currently looks a bit wetter for the state, but NOAA is forecasting it dryer for Santa Cruz.  We will need to see how that plays out over the next 36 hours.  Expect the heaviest rain mid day through evening on Friday, with showers lasting into Saturday morning.  We might see the sun briefly Saturday afternoon, ahead of the next storm on Sunday.

Rainfall totals for the week could exceed four inches here in town, and up to ten inches in the coastal mountains.  Widespread amounts exceeding seven inches in the north coast mountains and along the Sierra west slope.  A good amount for the south as well.  In fact the Whitney Portal zone is the bullseye for total precip with 12.3" forecast through next Tuesday.  Let's watch these begin their play.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Cold this morning.  36F recorded several places in town.  The clear sky and cool air mass conspire to make a very chilly morning.  We've had a lot of mornings this past month and a half that have fallen below 40F.  Brrr.  Today will be splendid, if crisp with a high in the mid to upper 50s.  Then everything flips around come Wednesday.  Clouds move in this evening, keeping the lows in the mid 40s.  Current forecast is for rain by noon, perhaps even earlier.  But very light at first.  We may even get through the daylight hours with only light showery weather.  Mid 50s expected.  Then, around midnight, the heavy rain arrives.  It is a fast moving system, but rain could linger into the mid morning Thursday.  Overnight lows barely drop into the 40s and rainfall totals are expected to be about an inch in town and a bit more in the local mountains by noon Thursday.

Another system is hot on the tails and we will barely, if at all, see a break in the action.  Rain tapers after sunrise on Thursday as the first system moves through to our south.  Showery weather may persist through the day Thursday.  Clouds likely will.  But we could have a decent day.  Lows continue to hang in the mid to upper 40s and highs in the low to mid 50s.  A colder and wetter system is to arrive mid day Friday.  Timing is still up in the air as it will depend in part on the movement of the storm prior to it.  We could be looking at widespread precipitation over an inch across much of the state.  Hopefully we continue to move in this direction and have a positive impact on the drought.

We got out into Fall Creek over the weekend to go search for some water falls.  We had an amazing hike over Ridge Trail, down S Cape and along Fall Creek.  We found the upper bridges washed out.  My five year old thoroughly enjoyed us building a temporary stone, fallen branch and bark bridge to ford the first time.  His stompin' boots aloud him to ford the second time by just walking through.  The adults went bare foot.  And the third time.  There were sink holes to climb across and mud bogs to tentatively traverse.  As well as optional river crossings on the low road.  He kept on wondering aloud, "what will our next challenge be?"  It was awesome.  There were also many recently downed trees.  It would have been wild, and dangerous, to be out there in the storm.  But highly recommended for the next time the sun comes out.

The forecast is for another storm Sunday into Monday morning.  Another hits just south of us on Tuesday and impacts mostly SoCal - which would be good for them.  After that we could see a return to high pressure and maybe an entire ten days of sunshine.  We need the water, but it would sure be nice to dry out.  More to come.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Average, for the month.

Santa Cruz, according to weather cat, recorded 6.35 inches of rain since the first of the year.  7.42" recorded on the west side.    Our January average is 6.3 inches.  We have more storms lined up.  In 1908 we received 19.9 inches of rain for the month of January.  We are about a third of the way there, but half way through the month.  Doubt we will break that record.  Can you imagine that much water falling in just a month?  Still we will see some more water fall before the the month is out.  We are actually on track for a wetter than average water year.  The forecast was for average.  We will need to see how this all plays out.

Sunshine, and absolutely gorgeous winter weather is on tap through the rest of the weekend.  My fantasy of 60F weather does not seem like it will bear fruit.  Cold mornings dipping to the upper 30s.  A new long period swell arrives tomorrow and peaks on Monday.  Morning off shores and mid day high tides with a head high swell in town and a bit bigger out west.  Tuesday looks very similiar, but with a few more clouds and those filling in late in the day.  Wednesday we see a shift back to a wet pattern.  Timing is still uncertain, but it looks like rain arriving mid day, with a heavy quick burst over night Wednesday and lingering into Thursday morning.  A second round arrives Friday into Friday night.  Maybe some clearing into the weekend.  Will need to look at the models over the next few days and focus on the mid week part first.  GFS shows more storms for the following week, but much of those missing us to the north.

Drought numbers I shared the other day don't include the rain from last week that feel after 7AM last Tuesday.  What gets released this coming Thursday will not include the storms of next week.  Hopefully we continue to see a move in a positive direction.  Let's watch these next few weeks and see where that lands us.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The 2 Percenters.

They live in Santa Barbara and the mountains and valley inland of there.  Two point one six to be exact.  That is the percentage of the state still in Exceptional Drought.  Down from near 21%.  We still have 28% of the state Extreme (or more) and nearly 50% in at least Severe drought.  But this is excellent news.  Water is an amazing thing and a powerful force as I am sure anyone who has been driving over the Santa Cruz Mountains this week can attest to.  My wife returned from work around 9:30PM last night due to a slide that periodically closed southbound Highway 17 near the Cats.  They would clear a lane, allow some cars through, close the lane and re-plow the oozing mud off the road.  The thing about water, mud and earth, is that while it can collapse catastrophically, it more often glides, slips, and just continue to ooze itself down hill.  Until the water drains.  We are headed into a drying period right now, but please use caution over the next few days if you head into the hills.

I know a few days ago I said this will be a good weekend to hike to a waterfall.  I still believe that.  But it is also potentially dangerous.  Keep an eye ahead and uphill of you if you plan to venture into the forest.  Watch for running water, and even more so, for water emerging from the mountainside.  Keep a good distance from moving water, and be aware of eroding banks.  This is actually a great hands on learning experience regarding hydrology, ecology and safety.  Have fun if you head out there.

About a half inch of rain last night.  Three quarters in Scotts Valley.  A foot to 18" at Kirkwood, putting them ten feet deep in snow.  If you are headed to Tahoe this weekend, please drive considerately and realize everyone else is headed up there as well.  And be safe.  Don't duck ropes.  Don't leave the resorts, unless you very truly know what you are doing including having a buddy, beacon, shovel and probe.  The avalanche danger is very real in Tahoe right now.  There still exists some deep instabilities related to a 12/15 rain crust, which now has 15-20 feet of snow on it.  Read the SAC report even if you plan to stay in the resorts.  It should be very good up there, as many places are still closed today digging themselves out from underneath this thing.  Ride with a buddy this weekend - even when staying inbounds and be ware of tree wells.  Stay safe.  Should be sunny and in the 30s in the mountains.

Coastal we see upper 50s and sunshine, with improving surf conditions.  Small long period swell arrives Saturday with moderate swell arriving Sunday.  More storms return mid next week according to models.  Get your sun while you can.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Its a Mountain Thing.

Steady rain has cleared out this morning.  Here on the west side of town we received just under 3/4" of rain last night.  A fair amount less than expected.  In Scotts Valley they totaled over 3 inches.  Last night's storm definitely dropped much more rain at elevation.  Another 36"-48" is reported at Kirkwood in the last 24 hours,  giving them six to eight feet of new snow since Sunday.  They will need time to dig out, as will much of Tahoe.

Sun, with some light showers,  through the rest of today.  It will feel warm in that sunshine.  Go out and get some.  Check your property for damage and be diligent about checking for hazards like downed trees and flooding areas.  The worst of this cycle is over, but that water still needs to work its way to the ocean and reservoirs.  Be wise, and use caution.

The ocean is a mess this morning with large stormy seas and strong westerly winds.  There is wind swell coming from the southwest, west and northwest.  River runoff is severe.  Sand bars are being created.  That water is dirty.  Best to let things settle a bit.  By this afternoon, the swell will be cleaning up a bit with the dropping tide.  We actually might be seeing some good surf starting to arrive for the holiday weekend.  And some fine weather.  More to come.  Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Round Two Started Up.

Rain had moved back into the Santa Cruz region in ernest.  We got about a tenth of an inch in town through the morning, but the real rain held off until about an hour ago.  Over the next few hours the rain will get heavy and overnight we should except to see another inch or more of new rain here in town.  There will be even more in the local mountains.  People, the ground is super saturated and an new rain will run along the surface.  That means erosion.  A cliff came down on a new van on Highway 17 yesterday.  Beer Creek Road has a new sink hole that could swallow the same van.  The mountain roads are dangerous.  Please give them your fullest respect.

Speaking of mountains, Kirkwood is reporting 40 inches of snow.  It is unclear if that is over night or storm total, but while we had a break last night, the storm raged in the Sierra.  Highway 88 is closed today.  For a good 40 plus mile stretch.  They do not want you out there.  The resort is closed as well.  It is very dangerous in the mountains right now.  But it looks like the sun will pop out some time Thursday and the resorts will begin unburying themselves from many feet of new snow.  This coming holiday weekend will be sunny and with mild temperatures.  Go get your schuss on.

But make it safely through this week first.  Especially you 17 commuters.  The rain should continue heavy through the early morning hours on Wednesday, but subside by mid day.  Tomorrow afternoon could be a good day to get outside and stomp (or at least get fresh air).  We see another system move through early Thursday, but it looks swift, and most of the moisture will be to our south.  That is good news and we need a break, and they need the water.

The sun should break out of the clouds late in the day Thursday.  The clear sky, and cooler air will see overnight lows drop to 40F or below.  Friday will break sunny and warm up to the upper 50s.  By MLK Day we should be hitting the low 60s.  If you are headed to the snow, expect traffic.  If you are staying in town, I strongly suggest you go view a waterfall.  By this weekend, the earth will be settling and draining.  Watch the water from a distance.  Enjoy the beauty that the rain brings us.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Backing Down.

The AR shifted south of us yesterday, sparing Santa Cruz of a deluge.  We are totaled only 3.68" so far from this storm.  While impressive, most of that dropped before Sunday morning, so it seemed that we would have hit over 5 inches based on forecasts from Sunday.  But then Mother Nature had different plans.  The rain will dissipate early today, as the bullseye for rain today is in the Southern Sierra and the coastal mountains north of L.A..  We are looking at maybe a tenth of an inch through today.  It will be in the mid 50s, cloudy and decently breezy.  Nothing like yesterday's storm wind though.  That was truly impressive and I am sure led to some downed trees.  We've made it through round one of this cycle folks.  Get out side today.  Clean a storm drain.  Or your yard.  Get some fresh air and exercise.  But keep an eye out, and be prepared for, showers to pop up during the day.  This is not an off day; just a light day.

Some colder air is moving into the region with this next system.  As stated before, we won't feel much of an effect of this, being here right on the coast.  The GFS guidance this morning suggest that the next system will see the AR move north to south starting tomorrow morning.  Rain should move back in for the morning commute.  Light at first, and since the roads will have had a day to kind of dry out (or at least un-flood) I imagine the dry Tuesday being better than the one going on right now.  That rain will fill in tough mid day, and may be heavy at times by afternoon, although the morning model runs suggest the heaviest rain will wait until the period from midnight through early Wednesday morning.  This could set up for another nasty AM drive.  About an inch and a half through the period.  While this is a small accumulation when compared to 3.68", it has no where to go.  And remember these numbers are for the city of Santa Cruz.  Much more has fallen and will fall in the local mountains.  The ground is super saturated, so all that water rushes to the sea.  Or a reservoir.  Regardless of its final destination, it will run along the top of the ground.

Things clear out nicely on Wednesday by mid day.  Light showers could continue, but will not be wide spread.  It still looks like we will see a third system for Thursday morning, but this morning it looks fast moving.  This will of course need to be updated, but it looks like another morning system with less than an inch of rain for us.

GFS also clears us out for the weekend now.  It is looking like we could be seeing some sunshine soon.  And possibly a little warming as we see high pressure set up on us for several days.  Currently it does not look like an extended dry period, with more storms forecast returning mid next week.  That is ten days out, so, really, no idea what will really happen.  Stay safe.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Storm Day.

As of 4AM this morning the west side has received 3.15" of rain since midnight on Friday.  That is a pretty impressive 28 hour total.  Not as impressive as what dropped in Lompico during the same time frame.  That total was 6.75 inches.  Needless to say, with the ground already saturated by last week's storm, the creeks, streams and rivers are running fast and high.  Add to that very strong and gusty winds and we have a recipe for downed trees and flooding.  Please be careful out there today whether you are on foot or wheels.  Avoid entering into running or standing water.  This is the real deal folks.  If you have not done so already, find your flashlights and batteries.  Be sure you have access to bottled water.  And then sit back and enjoy the storm.

This storm continues through the day today, raging, blowing and dropping a few more inches of water, before slowly winding down overnight and into the early morning hours of Monday.  Roads will be wet for the morning commute.  Very wet.  If you drive 17, plan for possible mudslide or downed tree closures.  Even over in the valley, we could see issues with road flooding and hydroplaning.  Slow it down and give it extra time.  By mid morning we should see a break in the rain.  The day will remain grey, brisk and potentially showery.  It looks like less than a 12 hour break before the next system runs ashore late Monday night.

Tuesday looks similiar to today, but with only and inch and a half to three inches of total precip lasting through early Wednesday morning.  This next system is a bit colder, but we won't feel much of a difference her eon the coast.  Still, it will be brisk and wet during the day Tuesday.  I'll post more details on this tomorrow.  Looks like we get another break by mid morning on Wednesday, but with round three arriving on Thursday.  Hope you are staying cozy.  And remember, we need this water to break the drought.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy Water Year.

Apologies for going dark for ten days.  I headed up to play in the snow with the family and forgot to bring the lap top.  Getting here late to the game, we are expecting a huge rain event for the state starting about now.  An atmospheric river is about to plow over us and drop 10 inches of rain on the Sierra by late tomorrow.  This is going to cause tremendous snow melt and flooding down stream.  The Truckee river is expected to spill over its banks in Reno tomorrow.  Rivers flowing toward the delta in California will also reach flood levels.  Best to avoid driving as much as possible after mid day today.  Now lets looks at the details.

Rain has already moved in this morning.  Hope you are prepared.  Heavy rain will fill in this afternoon, dropping about two inches here in town over the next 24 hours.  We have strong southeast winds this morning.  That is an odd direction for us to have strong winds, so some of you may be finding it quite gusty this morning.  Winds lighten as the day goes on, but the rain just intensifies.  High in the upper 50s.  On Sunday rain continues, with another two to three inches falling by mid day Monday.  The Monday morning commute is going to hellacious.  We will have seen about 4-5 inches of rain by Monday morning, so that means mud slides, downed trees and very wet roads.  Leave early, give space, and take your time.  This is likely the biggest rain event since December of 2011.  It is going to be insane.  As of this morning the AR is still aimed right at us.

Rain tapers on Monday, with a low of about 50 and a high around 55.  Light rain, with maybe a tenth or two in town and a quarter inch in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Monday might be the best day to get outside and play.  Colder air moves in late in the day.  A second AR takes aim at us on Tuesday.  This system will not be quite as wet, but we could be looking at another 2 inches by late Wednesday.  Overnight lows drop into the mid to  upper 40s, but daytime highs linger in the mid 50s.

We see another short break late on Wednesday, as we prepare for a third system to arrive Thursday.  This is the weakest of the bunch and will drop less than an inch of rain likely.  Typically and inch of rain is something to talk about, but as we are expecting 8-10" of rain locally over the next seven days, a one inch storm sounds week.  But reread that total.  It is quite impressive.

The GFS models bring more storms next weekend.  The Euro and Canadian models give us a short break.  As we are seven days out, we will need to look at this as we get closer.  The models all bring back significant rain the week of January 16th, so it does look like the wet weather is to continue.

Seriously, holy cow.  Get your flashlights ready.  Buy a few gallons of water.  Expect the power to go out.  Make a reservation for a matinee.  Be careful, be safe and be happy that we are going to see even more parts of the state emerge from drought.  As of last Tuesday (before the several inches of rain that fell on Wednesday) we had 18.07% of the state completely out of drought and only 18.31% of the state in Exceptional Drought (the worse level).  When the monitoring group recalculates next week, I expect that more of the state will be out of drought than labeled Exceptional.  In fact, it is possible to see more than 50% listed as Normal or just Abnormally Dry.  Currently we have 32.45% of the state in this grouping.  90% of Santa Cruz County is listed in this grouping, but we need to see most of the state listed as such.  Lets weather these storms and see where we sit next week.