We went up to Kirkwood to enjoy the storm these past three days. Wow. Cold, dry, deep powder was the name of the game. Even our sled runs were deep. The best dove under a tree branch and then banked a turn, all three feet below the snow surface. It felt like sledding down through a tunnel. Good times. The mountain is skiing very good, and the snowpack is now at mid-high tide. The small cliff bands are now just roll overs and the big stuff is starting to come into play. If you have you heart set on Heart Chute, this may be the season.
Here in Santa Cruz, it is continued cold in the mornings. Upper 30s at 6AM on the west side, but it was down in the ow 30s a few hours ago. Tie Gulch in reading in the upper 20s. It is cold out there. Yesterday warmed into the mid 50s, and today we are expecting more of the same. Mild and sunny. Good thing we got the last few days, as the rain returns tonight, and in earnest. Like up to a half inch by Wednesday morning, and that is just the start of it. This storm is a little different than the last two. First, it is the collision of two systems. A Kona Low, generating an Atmospheric River, aimed just to our south, and a cold northern hemisphere low pressure moving south out of Canada. It will be the war of warm versus cold.
On Wednesday, that warm AR will be winning, driving right over us, giving us copious rain, and temperatures staying in the 50s overnight. We are forecast to see almost two inches of rain here intern from 3AM Wednesday to 3AM Thursday. That is a good deal of rain for 24 hours, especially seeing we could have another quarter inch in the six hours preceding the heavy rain, and a god deal in the day after. This is a heavy rain event folks, and we will likely see some urban and creek flooding. Remember, it was raining just a few days ago. And a few days before that. And a few days before that. The ground is still super saturated, and that leads to mud slides. Please give your selves ample time on the Wednesday commute. Both ways.
On Thursday, the the cold low pushes south, and the AR moves south with it. Temperatures will drop with the cold front, and the rain will become much less heavy. Daytime high will be in the mid 50s (down form that balmy upper 50s forecast for Wednesday), but night time lows will make a bigger dip. First into he upper 40s, then lower 40s by the weekend. The cold low will provide much lower rain fall rates, but could continue moving rain bands over the region into the weekend. Thursday we are expecting up to a quarter inch of rain, the showery and cool weather into the weekend.
Good news is that sunshine is on the horizon. As we move into President's week, we will be in a cool pattern, with storms moving out of the north, main to our east. We might see some light precipitation from a passing system, but mostly expecting fair weather. The following week, the trough is supposed to move further west, giving us a break in storms, and setting up a high pressure for the last week of the month. It could become gorgeous out there. And speaking of gorgeous, that sunrise going off right now is just that.