Memories of NorCal

Prepandemic, my wife and I went to Sonoma for a friend’s wedding. Not only did I end up underdressed for the wedding (it was very fancy, and I was not), but I was also underdressed for the weather. It was significantly colder than expected, and I simply didn’t have enough warm weather gear for the blustery winds and chilly air. Beautiful country though. At the end of September, we put together a forecast for Santa Rosa, not far from Sonoma, and I had some serious flashbacks. After a gorgeous day on September 30th, onshore flow brought more clouds and chilly north Pacific air into Santa Rosa. Temperature forecasts were warm by a matter of double digits. Not great! The Weather Channel picked up a victory, but not one to be proud.
Actuals: September 30th – High 88, Low 50
October 1st, High 65, Low 51

Grade: D

Santa Rosa, California

I spent quite a bit of time tweeting @Vic_WX as Hurricane Ian made landfall near Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, Florida. I suggest a follow for discussion on live and breaking news stories like Ian.

Our forecast today will be in the North Bay. Perhaps even further north than just the North Bay, deeper into Wine Country. It’s a gorgeous part of the weather when the temperatures are cooperative. It could go either way in September!

At 153PM, PT, Santa Rosa was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 81 degrees. A trough was dipping into the northern Rockies, riding on the eastern flank of a coastal ridge. Pleasant conditions were found throughout the coast, with an onshore flow keeping temperatures manageable.
Through the forecast period, the low in the northern Rockies will become orphaned from a north riding jet, while the weak ridge at the coast will continue to provide a northwesterly flow. Sunshine will continue, and so to will fairly pleasant, even cooler temperatures.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 51
Saturday – Remaining sunny, but with scattered clouds, High 82, Low 52

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 86, Low 52
Saturday – Mostly sunny, High 78, Low 52

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 84, Low 52
Saturday – Mostly sunny and pleasant High 79, Low 52

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 86, Low 55
Saturday – Sunny, High 82, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 83, Low 55
Saturday – Partly Cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning, High 75, Low 55

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 87, Low 55
Saturday – Mostly sunny, High 81, Low 53

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 82, Low 55
Saturday – Clear throughout the day. High 76, Low 52

The satellite shows an almost entirely clear California, save for a little cumulus over the far southern part of the state. Not bad!

NorCal at it’s best (and worst)

I spent a lovely weekend in northern California in the fall of 2019, attending a wedding for one of my best friends. The day before, my wife and I went for a hike in the hills outside of Petaluma, and it was absolutely sweltering. The night of the wedding, in Sonoma, a wind came up during the outdoor reception, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been so cold. Same vibes for Santa Rosa (though a little reversed) during our forecast period. On the 18th, temperatures were several degrees below the forecast totals across the board. On the 19th, however, the reverse was true, and the readings were a bit warmer than any forecast. The result of this temperature and forecast whiplash was a three way draw between Victoria-Weather, The Weather Channel and Accuweather.
Actuals: January 18th, High 54, Low 34
January 19th, High 64, Low 40

Grade: C-D

Santa Rosa, California to Gadsden, Alabama

Let’s set forth on the open road this afternoon, and take a 4 day journey from California to the Southeast. The drive will cover four days, with the final day running very long. At that point, we will be inured to the long driving, though. That’s been my experience. It will be a 2,443 mile journey, paced at a blistering 69.8mph, which means we will cover 558.4 miles a day on those first few days.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Santa Rosa, California By JLankford – wikitravel, Public Domain,

As is often the case with drives through California, the weather will be sunny and clear. High pressure in the Intermountain West is producing some gusty Santa Ana winds, so keep your hands on the wheel and be wary of high profile vehicles in other lanes. The drive will start taking us inland, but will mostly be a southward drive. We’ll end up at the Mohave National Preserve in southern California.

DAY TWO (Monday)
These will be good days to continue driving in the southwestern US. It will be the warmest part of cthe country, and will be ensconced in high pressure. A broad trough will be pushing south, but will remain well to our north on Monday. The wind may pick up as a result, but we will still be dry. The day will end on the west side of Albuquerque.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
That trough I referenced from Monday will help in the generation of a system in the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t pertinent to our driving conditions on Tuesday, but should indicate how much further the cold air will press south. It’s already chilly in the southern Plains, but it will be well below freezing, even in Midwest City, one of Oklahoma City’s eastern suburbs to finish the day, and it will be cold.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
The active weather will continue to be pressed further south, even, than our southern US route. Be wary of drivers from Oklahoma to Alabama, though, as they are not used to even the slightest bit of ice on the roadways. It’s going to be cold in Gadsden, and even I, a Minnesotan, is saying that.

Gadsden, Alabama

Santa Rosa, California

We are in the middle of January, and especially those of us on the East Coast are probably pining for some sunny California weather. of course, Santa Rosa is in the North Bay, so we may not be that fortunate.

At 653AM, PT, Santa Rosa was reporting a temperature of 37 degrees with clear skies. There were clouds and fog still lingering to the south over San Francisco and inland towards Modesto, and temperatures there were up to 10 degrees warmer.
There is a weak trough flow in California, which is allowing for the modest on shore flow, bringing enough moisture for some morning clouds and mist along the coast. The trough will strengthen inland over the next couple of days, however, models suggest a lingering coastal trough, perhaps pointing to offshore flow, breezy winds but generally clear skies through mid week.
Tomorrow – Morning clouds and haze possible, High 59, Low 37
Wednesday – Less cloudy and hazy in the morning, a little warmer, High 63, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 59, Low 39
Wednesday – A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. High 63, Low 40

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun High 58, Low 38
Wednesday – Partly sunny High 61, Low 40

NWS: Tomorrow – Areas of fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, High 60, Low 41
Wednesday – Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny High 62, Low 40

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny. areas of fog in the morning. High 58, Low 44
Wednesday – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny. High 61, Low 44

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 60, Low 41
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 62, Low 40

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 59, Low 42
Wednesday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 62, Low 41

Now, for an alternative take, here is KPIX’s Darren Peck with a look at the weather for the Bay Area.

A fall scorcher

There is a continuing threat of wildfires in California, particularly in the northern part of the state, where despite a recent cool down for much of the country, hot weather, wind and dry conditions continued for California. Over the weekend of the 17th and 18th, temperatures in Santa Rosa spiked all the way to the 90s, even the upper 90s on that Saturday. Forecasters were anticipating some relief by the end of the forecast period, so everyone was a little low on their forecasts. The warmest outlet was Victoria-Weather, and we claimed victory on a miserable forecast for everyone — particularly residents of Santa Rosa.
Actuals: October 17th, High 97, Low 48
October 18th, High 91, Low 48

Grade: C-F

Santa Rosa, California to Wenatchee, Washington

It’s not often we spent a road trip on the west coast, but that’s the plan for this journey. It will take a day and a half to get from the North Bay to western Washington. We’ll cover 798 miles at a pace of only 57.3mph, thanks to most of our drive being spent off of the main freeways, as well as through some rebuilding areas after this year’s wildfires. Enjoy the lackadaisical pace.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Santa Rosa, California By JLankford – wikitravel, Public Domain,

While you may not recognize it in northern California, where fires are still burning, particularly northeast of Santa Rosa, and further north in the Mendocino National Forest, but it is a time of rainy change in the Pacific Northwest. Northern California will be all too dry and haze tinged as we travel north along I-5, but north of Klamath Falls on US-97, we will start to see a change. First, some clouds will stream overhead, and then around Crater Lake, the northeast chilly wind will pick up. Models suggest a dry drive tomorrow afternoon, but make no mistake. We’re crossing a cold front in Oregon tomorrow. We will stop in the resort community of Sunriver, south of Bend, at the end of the day.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The next round of wet weather to barrel into Washington is coming in the morning on Friday. It will particularly impact Puget Sound and eastern Washington near Spokane, mostly sparing the Yakima Valley. Don’t count on that lasting all day, though. Just because there won’t be as much rain or snow doesn’t mean there won’t be any. Precipitation will mostly be rain from Yakima northward, but some snow may mix in around Ellensburg, and again as we approach Wenatchee.

Wenatchee, Washington

Santa Rosa, California

Wine country…. hopefully not whine country.

At 753PM, PT, Santa Rosa was still reporting a temperature of 80 degrees with clear skies. The west coast will continue to remain clear for the next couple of days, and unlike the eastern two thirds of the country, it will be hot. Santa Rosa is in a red flag warning, and a heat advisory.
High pressure centered in the eastern Pacific is bolstered onshore by a thermal ridge. Little change can be anticipated in Santa Rosa, and the heat and fire danger will be in place, particularly with a broad static trough east of the Rockies.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 93, Low 53
Sunday – Sunny, High 87, Low 49

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies. High 92, Low 56
Sunday – Partly cloudy skies. High 85, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Hot with plenty of sunshine; caution advised if doing strenuous activities outside High 93, Low 56
Sunday – Plenty of sunshine High 85, Low 50

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 92, Low 61
Sunday – Sunny, High 86, Low 56

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 91, Low 56
Sunday – Sunny, High 84, Low 54

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 93, Low 60
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 85, Low 55

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 92, Low 58
Sunday – Clear throughout the day. High 85, Low 51

It’s like we were foreasting for different Santa Rosa’s, judging by some of those highs. I am not sold on as steep a drop in temperatures, clearly, as the others. Now, please enjoy the forecast from another viewpoint, KTVU in northern California.