Monday, April 17, 2017


A cold front swept through Thursday morning around 3AM last night, dropping temps from the low 50s to the low 40s in the period of an hour.  It dropped well over the forecast rain; just under 2/3 of an inch.  Friday cleared after the morning rain, and Saturday, as you know, was a very fine day.  It even felt warm and spring like.  The next system arrived early, with rain by about noon on Easter Sunday.  Again, the forecast was broken, and we again almost got 2/3 of an inch of rain.  That system mostly passed by 6PM.  Low fog and drizzle remain this Monday morning.  We have one more wave to pass through the region later today.  The forecast is for just a few showers this afternoon and evening, amounting to at very most two tenths of an inch.  That will likely be the case, but we have already exceeded the week's total forecast of on inch.  In fact, we are tallying 1.66 inch of rain in the past week.  That is 66% more than forecast.

Cool today for April.  Mid 60s.  In fact, you could feel the cool in the afternoon yesterday.  We went for a quick Pogonip stroll in the drizzle yesterday evening, and it was crisp until you developed some heat of your own.  That continues today, with mostly low clouds.  In fact, it continues through Tuesday morning, until about noon.  Then, clouds should clear to bring about a partly sunny afternoon.  It will be slightly warmer on Tuesday.  As those clouds clear out, it will allow the radiational cooling Tuesday night and we will drop into the mid to upper 40s.  And while Wednesday will be sunny, this will need to be over come to get those temps back up during the day.  Expect another day in the 60s for Wednesday.  We also have another system brushing by to our north on Wednesday, so we see a slight chance for some light rain in the evening.

Calm winters day at Cowell's Beach, Santa Cruz.

Then we have spring arriving on Thursday.  Sunny, warm and developing a NW breeze for the weekend.  It will be in the low 70s during the afternoons, perhaps even the mid 70s for Friday and Saturday.  It should be a nice run of weather, and needless to say, great planting weather for your summer gardens.  If you don't already have your early summer plants, like pole beans and lettuce, in the ground, this will be a great weekend to get that work done.  I was asked by a friend if I though this would be the last rain storm of the season.  With weather being weather, it is hard to tell.  The NPac jet is to remain active, but shift slight north.  Sorry Portland.  But, all it takes is a little wiggle to bring us some more of these spring storms.  Usually, they are not all that cold, or all that strong, so not too damaging to the crops.  Time to get your plants in the ground folks.  Unless, of course, you have a different plan.

No change in the drought over the past week.  I'll keep an eye out for this next week's report, but it does not look like enough, or any, rain is getting far enough south to help SoCal.  They are still in varying levels of drought from Santa Barbara south.  OTOH, NorCal has just broken the record for the wettest season on record.  And what is astounding is that it broke that record in April.  We still over 5 more months in the water year.  And while these tend to be the driest months of the year, we could still a an inch or few more to that total.  Winners.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Round Two Tonight.

We received almost two tenths of an inch of rain this morning.  Right around school drop off hour.  It has mellowed out, and there is almost sunshine poking through.  But there is not.  The sky is a light grey as of the noon hour.  Another wave, the stronger wave, of this storm is just offshore, and expected to swing through this evening.  Rain should fill in after midnight and in the early morning hours tomorrow.  Again clearing through the morning, but not as completely.  Showers could persist through the early afternoon on Thursday.  It will remain cool,  with highs in the mid 50s.  Snow is expected to fall in the Sierra overnight tonight and through the day Thursday, with up to a foot on the peaks.  Spring pow for Friday is expected.  And temps will remain on the cool side, only in the 30s on the mountains.  Upper 50s to low 60s on the coast.

Winter beach clean up.  Main Beach, Santa Cruz.

The weather is looking fair for the holiday weekend.  Friday will be cool, but the sun should come out.  Warmer for the weekend though.  Mid 60s and sunshine on Saturday.  Over night lows in the mid 40s.  By Sunday, we will see more clouds developing, and possibly some rain late in the day.  Another series of mild spring storms arrive late on Sunday.  Winter ain't over yet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Several More...

Some heavy drizzle this morning.  Thick, big, random drops.  We are not expecting any accumulation; just a minor wetting.  Temps will be mild, in the mid 60s.  I do not consider this a rain day.  More like an east coast spring day.  But we do have rain coming our way.  The system, today is mainly to our north.  We do have a greater chance for some actual rain this evening, but that also looks slim.  What we will be looking at is an increase in the southerly flow.  It will have an easterly component today, but will strengthen and shift more southerly tonight.  The best chance for some actual rain will be Wednesday morning.  By mid day, we will be in the low 60s and see some sunshine.  Then, a storm hits us tomorrow evening.

Now, when I say storm, you are probably thinking of something significant.  After all, that is what we have experienced this winter.  This storm is more of a stormule.  Or stormella.  Anyway, winds turn westerly, up to 25 mph, and rain begins to fall late in the evening.  With some luck we could receive up to a quarter inch.  Just enough to maybe thoroughly wet the surface.  We may see some running or standing water, but only because the ground was so recently wetted.  Not an impressive system, other than it is coming in mid April.   Wednesday will be cooler with a high of only 60F.  Overnight lows begin to dip into the mid 40s.  Light rain could linger into Thursday, and even Thursday night.  That said, we should see some sun on Thursday, although it remains cool.  Light winds, turning south in the afternoon.

The river mouth has been surfing well this winter.  February day, after a storm clean up.  Main Beach, Santa Cruz.

It does look like we will have some fine weather for the Easter weekend.  Friday, the sun returns in earnest.  We also warm back up into the mid 60s, with upper 60s for the weekend.  Overnight lows also begin to climb and will be back to about 50F for the early morning hours on Monday.  Also climbing will be a chance for rain, as a second storm is likely to arrive Sunday evening.  This system is forecast to hit us more directly than the one mid week.  Still, it is not a huge rain maker.  Between the two of them, we might exceed one inch of precipitation.  Let's put the numbers at .41 inches for the mid week storm, and .62 inches for the system early next week.  We even see a third system approaching from the west next Wednesday, but this one looks like it will fall apart before it even reached us.

The bulk of both of these systems will hit NorCal and the Sierra.  So, more water up north and more snow for the mountains.  Kirkwood received 30" of snow last week.  They have a base of over ten feet right now.  Their parking lots are full.  But they will close for the season on Easter, for their earliest closing ever (except for one drought year).  Pretty lame of the Vail overlords.  But if you want to keep on enjoying this record breaking snow pack, you can still visit Sugarbowl, Diamond Peak, Bear Valley or Homewood through April 23rd, and SquawAlpine and Mammoth Mountain will be spinning lifts through the 4th of July this year.  Thank you for there still existing resorts that now how how to keep it real.  They should get a few inches of snow this week, and next.

The North Pacific is also remaining active through April.  We see more chances for rain on the charts, and more chances for waves.  In fact, this morning we have some solid swell in the water.  Nothing like last week on the 2nd and 3rd, but still, nice significant swell, especially for April.  Get out and enjoy what this winter has brought us.  You deserve it.  You made it this far.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Fat Lady Has Not Sung.

Rain has already moved into the region.  Light drizzle has been reported in SF, and light snow showers are currently falling along the Sierra Crest.  Winter is back folks.  Today will sit in the mid 60s and it will get even cooler for the weekend.  Rain comes in ernest tonight with over an inch forecast to fall before sunrise on Friday mornings.  NOAA is calling for up to two inches, but that seems a bit high.  Regardless, it will be a hefty amount.  After having several weeks of dry weather, the ground is set to absorb a good amount of water, but, and here is a big but, the water ways are still very active draining the ground already.  And the ground, while not super saturated, is still pretty wet.  So, watch out for flash flooding in the usual areas by Friday morning.

Fall Creek drainage, early February 2017, Felton, CA.  The redwoods love water.

Rain continues to fall during the day Friday, although lighter during the morning hours.  A second wave of the storm arrives mid day on Friday, and we could be seeing close to another inch of rainfall by sun down.  60F for a high.  Rain continues Friday night, but will lighten considerably by midnight.  Another quarter inch of so of rain.  And it continues into Saturday morning, tapering mid to late morning.  Fairly windy through the period, but at its worst tonight and Friday.  Near three inches of rain possible by the time it wraps up on Saturday.

The clouds clear out late Saturday, and we could have a cold night in the low 40s.  Cold for April.  If you have any plant seedlings started for your garden, think of protecting them with a floating row cover.  This will not be cold enough to kill seedlings, but could potentially stunt them.  Nothing worse than a pepper plant that never grows more than 10 inches tall.  Okay, I guess something are worse, but this is one you can make a difference about.

Sunny on Sunday (makes sense), and back up in the mid 60s.  Near 70F as we start the work week.  Yet, by Tuesday, we begin to see the effect of our active pattern, with the high dropping back into the mid 60s.  I am watching the forecasts for mid to late next week as a storm brushes by to our north on Wednesday and the potential for another big system to hit us for Thursday into the Easter weekend.  That poor bunny might have a night of rain to contend with whilst hiding her eggs.

Surf continues to hit solidly, but the new local weather conditions are wreaking havoc on it.  It was an amazing late March, early April run.  And it continues.  It will be big today and over the weekend as both long and mid period swells peak.  Add in the developing WSW wind swell and you have some serious surf.  It all should settle and clean up a bit early next week, as we see a smallish, but big enough to be fun, south arrive early next week and potential for another long period WNW mid next week.  Hopefully during those sunny calm days before the storms.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Or Maybe Two.

GFS has backed off a bit for the Friday storm. Not much.  A bit.  And it brings in a second storm for Monday.  The Friday-Saturday storm looks like the bigger of the two, but it is a string of weather.  This warmth and sunshine should continue through Wednesday.  In fact, Wednesday is looking quite nice, with lighter winds and mid to upper 70s.  Thursday we drop back into the 60s, with more clouds and increasing chances of showers as we head toward sunset.

Brian taking air near Carson Pass.  March 26th, 2017.

Likely, rain will hold off until sometime after midnight, or on Friday proper.  It could get quite heavy at times, lasting into Saturday, and dropping well over an inch of rain.  Maybe two.  Right now, it looks like one and three quarters inch, here in town, by Sunday morning.  Temps in the mid 60s, dropping to the low 60s on Sunday.  Another round of rain comes in early Monday morning.  Mostly showers.  More cold air, keeps the temps in the mid to low 60s.  Light rain through the day, less than a half inch in total.  Maybe some showers lingering on Tuesday morning, but clearing out after that and back to high pressure and sunshine.

Surf has been off the hook the past few days.  Swell will subside, but a south fills in for Tuesday.  A more local NW fills in late Wednesday and Thursday to lighter winds.  This nice run of spring surf could continue.  Conditions will deteriorate as we head into the weekend.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

One Last Hurrah.

Spring is having a hard time staying sprung.  A solid winter swell arrived a few days back and another is filling in today.  The fog this morning feels kind of like summer, although the strong NW winds from a few days back is kind if spring like.  The weather this week looks variable.  A cold front will pass through this evening, but it is unlikely we will will get any rain.  A touch cooler tomorrow, but barely.  Low to mid 70s through the first half of the week.  Then, as we head toward Friday, it looks like we could get a for real winter rain storm.  Preliminary forecasts is for rain to begin on Thursday night and to get heavy on Friday.  There will be some gusty winds associated with this storm.  Over an inch of rain, with a good chance for over two inches.  The Sierra is looking at three plus inches near Tahoe, and up to seven inches in the mountains of northern California.  I'll update this as the week goes on.  Now it is time to go get some of that fine wintery surf.

Scotts Creek, Early January, 2017.  Love that winter swell.