Tag Archives: Santa Cruz

Monterey Bay, a world apart

If you look for weather headlines, aside from the recovery from Harvey in Houston, to the looming danger from Irma in the north Atlantic, the next big story is the heat and fire danger out west. Earlier it was Seattle and Portland that experienced record heat, but last week, it was San Francisco. Los Angeles is seeing a wild fire in an area that hasn’t seen such an event in 80 years. Meanwhile, in places like Monterey Bay, and in particular, Santa Cruz, temperatures as of mid-week remained in the mid 70s for highs. The cold Pacific and a barrier of mountains to the east do a good job keeping anything but cool temperatures out of the area. With regards to the forecast for the area, Victoria-Weather collected the top marks for the city by the sea.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 72, Low 57
Wednesday – High 76, Low 52

Grade: B-C

Savannah, Georgia to Santa Cruz, California

We continue to monitor the situation in the western Gulf, which is expanding in scope from the Houston area to southern Louisiana, but this lengthy trip should give us a good cross section of the weather elsewhere in the country. Our trip will take 5 days to cover 2685 miles. As a special treat, this will take exactly 5 days to cover, meaning the math is pretty easy to figure out. We’ll go 67.125 miles a day and covering 537 mile a day.


DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Harvey is finally, mercifully on the move, and will really begin to break down as he moves into the Lower Mississippi Valley. As he becomes unravelled, the heavy rain will spread in their coverage, spilling into Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Showers and thunderstorms, including some isolated tornadoes, will become increasingly possible as we head west through the day, with rain becoming quite heavy west of Birmingham. Amid the deluge, we will stop between Tupelo and Memphis in the town of New Albany, Mississippi. They might see a couple inches of rain, but it still won’t compare to the Texas coast.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Harvey will move up the Mississippi River towards Memphis, and we will be within the heavy rain, and make our nearest pass to the center of circulation as we head through Memphis. Fortunately, by this point, Harvey’s breadth will be reduced, and we should drive out of the rain somewhere around Little Rock. High pressure is what is forcing Harvey along, and will be the culprit for our much calmer afternoon. We’ll stop on the east side of Oklahoma City, with sunny skies and hot weather in our immediate future.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Friday will also be mercifully dry, but afternoons will be getting even warmer. The monsoon is getting organized out west, especially with Harvey clearing the moisture pipeline and allowing the wet weather in. Some isolated storms will pop up in the 4 corners, but it will be over the higher terrain of northern New Mexico, rather than the dusty east part leading up to Albuquerque. It will be just us and the road as we arrive in Albuquerque for the night.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
We’ll be headed into the hottest part of the country, if not the world on Saturday, in the midst of another west coast heat wave. We’re going to move through the relatively cool northern Arizona and bake by the time we hit the Colorado River along the border with California, calling it a night in Needles, which isn’t far from the border. One more day to drive!

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
Sunny California. We’ll see most of it, from the deserts of southeastern California through the lush central Valley and then the undulating and beautiful Monterey Bay. We won’t see many clouds until we get right up on the coast, where there might be a hint of a marine layer as we arrive in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz, California

So much attention has been focused on southeastern Texas and Harvey – and rightfully so, of course- that there is almost no concept of what the whether is doing elsewhere right now. A preview: it’s hot out west.

At 948PM, PT, Watsonville/Santa Cruz was reporting overcast skies with fog and a temperature of 59 degrees. Heat advisories were out for the interior Valley, but from San Francisco Bay to Monterey Bay, Pacific flow, clouds and morning and evening fog were all conspiring to keep temperatures livable. In fact, the heat advisories and red flag warnings have all been stripped away from the Bay area.
There is a weak trough moving through upper levels of the atmosphere, and will traverse California through the day Wednesday, and should ultimately lead to a dissipation of the fog and low clouds, at least in the later evening on Wednesday. Temperatures inland will respond by cooling off, but with fewer clouds, it may warm slightly along the coast with less afternoon overcast.
Tomorrow – Morning and evening fog. High 73, Low 55
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies.  High 74, Low 58
Wednesday – Sunny skies. High 77, Low 56

AW:: Tomorrow – Nice with areas of low clouds early on; otherwise, mostly sunny High 74, Low 58
Wednesday – Mostly sunny and cool High 75, Low 58

NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, Hgh 70, Low 58
Wednesday – Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, High 71, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning, High 69, Low 57
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. High 71, Low 57

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 70, Low 57
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 72, Low 57

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 69, Low 54
Wednesday – Partly cloudy in the morning. High 70, Low 54

Temperatures are all over the map. It will depend greatly on what the clouds do along the coast.  Speaking of, here is the satellite, with some low overcast barely showing up around Monterey Bay.

Santa Cruz finds its equilibrium

The West Coast was the first stop for the system currently moving through the Plains and on its way to the East Coast. When it cleared out, it didn’t take long for things to get back to normal. The first two days after the storm moved through, things were getting back to normal in Santa Cruz. Highs in 60s, mostly cloudy in the morning and then generally pleasant nights in the 40s. The Weather Service and Forecast.io were the two that settled into the diurnal rhythm the best, winning the forecast in Santa Cruz.
Actuals: Thursday – High 68, Low 44
Friday – High 65, Low 48

Grade: B

Santa Cruz, California to Florence, South Carolina

It’s a long way from Monterey Bay to South Carolina. The drive will cover 2723 miles over the course of 5 days. We’ll move a long at the fairly swift rate of 69.8mph. The first 4 days of travel will be a full 8 hours, and we will be just shy of that on Tuesday, so our drive on the weekend will cover 559 miles a day, leaving the rest for Tuesday. Let’s snake through the southern US and see what we can find.

DAY ONE (Friday)
There is a broad trough across the Rockies is attempting to rock east and away from our route, which it will be doing a pretty darn good job of. The deserts of the southwestern US will not be as sweltering as it could be as April concludes, and things should be in bloom, given recent rains and sunshine. All in all, it won’t be a bad drive from Santa Cruz to Yucca, just inside the Arizona border.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
It’s not often we are working our way through Arizona and New Mexico and we have to worry about precipitation, but that’s where we are at in life. An inverted trough in the western lobe of the broad trough I mentioned earlier as lying over the Rockies will start to pivot southward, increasing the threat for rain and mountain snow along the Arizona-New Mexico border. In the early to mid afternoon as we pass through the Gallup and Grants area of western New Mexico, we could see some isolated showers. As we reach Albuquerque and the terrain flattens out, we’re going to be removed from the additional forcing it provides, so things will be dryer. The day will end in Encino, west of Albuquerque, or at the very least, at the exit for the New Mexico town.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
That inverted trough will hang out in the mountains throughout the night and into Sunday morning. Like I said we will be far enough east that the forcing will be weakened, but early in the day with flow enhanced by Gulf moisture, we will see overcast skies with a little bit of isolated drizzle impacting eastern New Mexico. The Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma are anticipated to be under weak surface high pressure on Sunday, and though we will be ringed by showers and storms, we will be in the hole of the donut. No problems are expected through Henryetta, Ojlahoma, our destination for the night.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
Low pressure will focus as it reaches the Atlantic, and a well organized boundary will emerge just inland of the Gulf Coast. We will be driving north of this newfound boundary, which means dry weather for our Monday. It should be a pretty easy day, headed through Arkansas, Mississippi and into northwest Alabama, where we will stop in Eldridge.

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
That boundary will break down as the low, now in the Gulf Stream off the Canadian Maritimes will dissociate with the trailing wave in the southern Plains. High pressure in the Ohio Valley will filter into the southeastern US, and the drive from near Florence, Alabama to our actual destination of Florence South Carolina will be pretty nice, except for the part where we drive through the heart of Atlanta. Enjoy Florence!

Santa Cruz, California

Hello, and welcome to the nightly forecast. We’re going to head for northern California and Monterey Bay.

At 853PM, PT, Santa Cruz was reporting a temperature of 52 degrees with clear skies. There were clouds over the southern end of Monterey Bay  but for the most part, inclement weather has departed the region for the night. The clear skies and onshore flow suggest a threat for some morning fog tomorrow.
An upper level trough lies across the western US, headed towards the Rockies, and will become distended into the Plains. For the purposes of Santa Cruz, this will deflect energy and moisture away from Monterey Bay.  A sharp ridge angled towards British Columbia will help keep the city clear of fog, though temperatures will take a while to warm back up.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 66, Low 48
Friday – Mostly cloudy, High 64, Low 46

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 70, Low 46
Friday – Cloudy early, becoming mostly sunny in the afternoon, High 68, Low 46

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 67, Low 48
Friday – Mostly sunny High 67, Low 49

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 67, Low 48
Friday – Sunny, High 65, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny, High 66, Low 50
Friday – Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny, High 66, Low 49

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny, High 66, Low 48
Friday – Mostly Sunny, High 64, Low 50

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the evening. High 67, Low 47
Friday – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 67, Low 48

Others are a little more confident in clearing than I am, but I am pretty sure that Santa Cruz will steer clear of any marine layer. Here is the satellite, showing some clouds in the Monterey Bay area.
Santa Cruz

I’m… stunned

So, a few days back when we were forecasting for Santa Cruz, I noted how unusual the Weatherbug forecast seemed. It didn’t seem quite right. For example, their highs were 85 and 90, when the average from other outlets was 75 for both days. Of course, their text forecast was in line with everyone else’s, but the graphical forecast was not. The highs ended up being 82 and 91. The marine layer didn’t come in, and it heated way up in Santa Cruz. Weatherbug was right, even if it was an accident. Of course, their lows were still dreadful, and though they had the top forecast, it was only just barely.
Actuals: Sunday, High 82, Low 50
Monday – High 91, Low 53

Grade: D

Santa Cruz, California

We haven’t been to the west coast in a very long time. What’s going on in Santa Cruz?

At 753AM, PT, Santa Cruz was seeing a temperature of 57 degrees with overcast skies. Monterey Bay had drawn low clouds, which are pooling along the shores of the bay and was very well evidenced on satellite.
A strong jet north of Washington will help influence the overall flow for the West Coast, and the marine layer will continue to emerge every night in Santa Cruz.
Tomorrow – Morning fog, clouds, with some sun in the late afternoon, High 74, Low 52
Monday – More sun, but still early clouds and fog, High 77, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – Generally sunny High 77, Low 52
Monday – Abundant sunshine High 80, Low 54

AW: Tomorrow – Areas of low clouds early; otherwise, mostly sunny High 73, Low 51
Monday – Areas of low clouds early, then mostly sunny High 76, Low 54

NWS: – Areas of low clouds early, then mostly sunny High 69, Low 54
Monday – Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny High 70, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning. High 84, Low 58
Monday – Cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. High 90, Low 65

I think there might be something wrong with the algorithm at Weatherbug. Those were not typos. The text forecast seems to be right, but the forecast is drawn from the numbers, if possible. This is a cool satellite, showing the low clouds snuggled into Monterey Bay.

Springfield, Illinois to Santa Cruz, California

Why is it most of the road trips I write involve California? I know I lived there for 5 years, and twice as long as that in Illinois actually, but still. Oh well, with nice weather covering the western 2/3 of the country the beautiful weather here in the Twin Cities always makes us feel like we’re enjoying a piece of what CA gets nearly year round. Today’s trip will cover 4 days and 2,102 miles. Off we go!


The tail end of a cold front will pass north of Springfield during the early morning hours, so outside of a few clouds perhaps, it should be a dry start to the day as we head west out of Central IL. Two words are going to be very popular during this road trip…. High Pressure. A large dome of it is shifting into the Central Plains, making for mostly sunny skies and dry weather as we travel though Northern Missouri to Lincoln, NE, and further westward to Grand Island, our stop for the 1st night.


Well, nothing much to speak of today, weather-wise that is. The dome of high pressure continues to assert itself over the Central US, so nothing but pleasant conditions will be experienced for the trip west into Wyoming where we went the day at Rawlins. Unless of course, you forgot your sunglasses in Grand Island. Then all that squinting might get annoying.


More sun, different day. As we delve further into the weekend, our old high pressure continue to squish any chances of precip along our route. Some afternoon thunderstorms are possible over portions of the Four Corners and Desert Southwest, but most of that activity will be isolated and well south of our route through Salt Lake City westward into NV where we end our day in Elko.


The coast is in our sights! The large ridge of high pressure that caused the Southwest to absolutely roast earlier this week (including an all-time record high in Los Angeles at 113 degrees) continues to control the Western US. What does that mean for the final day of our road trip? Severe thunderstorms! Massive tornadoes! Nah, nothing like that. Just make sure the car’s AC is working well as we make our way through the Sierra Nevada and into CA’s Central Valley by rolling through Sacramento towards San Francisco, and finally into Santa Cruz. Surfs up!

Monterey Bay Victory

Anthony came back from vacation and immediately forecast for Santa Cruz, right in the state he had recently departed from. He certainly knew what he was doing, as he ended up with the top forecast for the city. There was a small dose of light rain showers on Thursday, but Santa Cruz ended up with a pleasant couple of days in the weather department. (Accuweather tied for the top spot, BTW)
Actuals: Thursday – Trace of rain, High 60, Low 44
Friday -High 63, Low 40

Grade: A