Yesterday was pretty damn nice out. Sunny at times, and with that warm. We took the remote control car out for a run around Lighthouse Field in the early afternoon. There are still some puddles to drive around, and the low spots are a bog, but the main paths were relatively dry. As we emerged from a grove and was headed to our car at about 3PM, we were greeted by very strong south winds. Soon after that a little rain started. The Farmer's Market was in full clean up mode when I showed up around 5PM. But the rain never really kicked in in earnest. Even this morning it is on again, off again. Still, we should expect some moderate rains through mid day today, tapering in the afternoon. We are at just over a quarter inch so far (.84" in Scotts Valley), and should expect nearly an inch in town. A few more up in the hills. Based on our hike about yesterday, plan for even this moderate rain fall to get those creeks up an running swiftly. And be watching for mudslide and urban flooding. It is winter.
It should remain cool, but not cold, with temps in the upper 50s today, and it never dropped below 50F last night. This will mean rain for Tahoe until later. By evening, we should have a fair break in the weather before the second round arrives before sunrise on Friday. Another warm night is expected. We could see another round of moderate rain here in Santa Cruz. Around mid day to evening a cold front will pass through, dropping temps a bit, and bringing with it frontal showers. Rain tapers overnight and by Saturday day break we should really only see a few sporadic showers. The forecast trend is for mostly clouds over the weekend, but very little chance for light rain until Sunday afternoon when the next system approaches. Of course, you need not be surprised is showers do persist over the weekend, as they are expected just to our north and south - so don't expect a beach day.
Currently it looks like more rain Sunday night into Monday, with another storm showing on Tuesday. Another inch or so with the Monday system. The Tuesday storm looks like we will just get brushed by the southern fringe, so lighter precip; but this storm is a strong one just to our north, so a shift of a few hundred miles could bring us a deluge. The rest of next week looks like high pressure will try to squeeze in from the south, pushing showery weather north. Hoping it is sunshine and not a week of clouds and showers. The long term suggests a return to a storm track for mid to late in the month.
Today's drought monitor release has seen another 6% drop (down to 20% of the state) out of Severe to Moderate drought. That was the biggest shift. We still have 1.87% listed Extreme, with 38% out of drought completely, and another 22% just Abnormally Dry. Moving in the right direction, and with more rain, we will continue to see improvements. Unfortunately, this storm will not reach south or east of LA, so drought will persist there.