West Coast Wind Blog: Fast moving cold fronts

Quick shift from WNW to SW winds.

by Mike Godsey

Looking at the ocean buoys winds today you would think that NW clearing winds are ramping up. But you would be thinking wrong.

(But thinking right if you launch along the Central California coast, Southern California or Baja!)

This animation shows today’s wind picture.

First, note the time stamps at the bottom of animation. Notice the NW winds just west of the Bay Area in the morning. These winds are from the North Pacific High centered west of Southern California.  Check out the strong ocean NW winds building west of Southern California. Now note the location of the NPH’s isobars and the mild NW wind near the Bay in the AM.

If you just looked at the ocean buoy winds west of the Bay Area you would be loading gear for Waddell.

But now watch as a cold front swinging down from a Gulf of Alaska storm brings SW storm winds to the Bay Area in the afternoon. And tonight we will see showers and stronger storm winds.

Watching the animation notice how the North Pacific High’s surface NW winds and the isobars move southward and build near Southern California beaches this afternoon.

About this time you should be wondering what happened to our NW clearing winds so far this spring. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about that topic.

Image  annotated from windy.com