Since I wrote this blog yesterday all the models have agreed that the storm is likely to impact Baja’s East Cape.
Ever wondered why do you see really vague forecasts like this Baja Forecast today?
“Some models have is just wobbling around south of Los Cabos and dying. But the ECMWF European models, which does a very good job on storms, has the unnamed storm coming close enough to Cabo to send significant rain to Baja’s East Cape especially in the mountains.
If this happens we could see GUSTY SE winds to the mid 20’s and significant rain especially towards Los Barriles. If you are camped in an arroyo be ready to move fast and follow the forecasts carefully. Remember that even if it does not rain on the coast heavy rain in the mountains can send a sudden mass of water down arroyos.”
This animation shows how radically different the GFS and ECMWF forecasts are for the next few day regarding this tropical storm.
This animation show todays imagery of the storm at dawn Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.
As you can see there is a hint of it developing a circular rotation but so far it looks very unlikely to become a hurricane. Still, there is significant rain and winds in this system. Some models have is just wobbling around south of Los Cabos and dying. But the ECMWF European models, which does a very good job on storms, has the unnamed storm coming close enough to Cabo to send significant rain to Baja’s East Cape especially in the mountains.
If this happens we could see GUSTY SE winds to the mid 20’s and significant rain especially towards Los Barriles. If you are camped in an arroyo be ready to move fast and follow the forecasts carefully. Remember that even if it does not rain on the coast heavy rain in the mountains can send a sudden mass of water down arroyos.
(INVEST name means this storm is currently being monitored by the National Hurricane Center for the potential for future development. The NHC is a close partner of our company since we run the hurricane sensor network for them: https://weatherflow.com/professional-services/weather-networks/custom-designed-mesonets/the-weatherflow-hurricane-network/
If you were flying several hundred miles south of Los Cabos this morning your view would look much like my photo above.
There is a CHANCE this tropical depression 93E.INVEST, currently several hundred miles SSW of Baja will lunge towards Baja’s East Cape on the weekend. If this happens we could see GUSTY SE winds to the mid 20’s and significant rain especially towards Los Barriles.
If you are camped in an arroyo be ready to move fast and follow the forecasts carefully. Remember that even if it does not rain on the coast heavy rain in the mountains can send a sudden mass of water down arroyos.
(The “INVEST” name means this storm is currently being monitored by the National Hurricane Center for the potential for future development.
WeatherFlow is a partner of the NHC and our Hurricane Network supports their life-saving mission.)
The last few days have seen barely a trace of El Norte winds over the Sea of Cortez. But El Sargento, La Ventana and to a lesser extent still can see mild local sea breezes if there is enough blue sky to heat the inland valleys.
Unfortunately, yesterday Nov. 13 saw heavy clouds over the area that stopped the sea breeze from developing. Today the same clouds mass is streaming from the SW with the subtropical jetstream. However the cloud band is more to the south. And the models suggest most of the band will move away from the La Ventana area later today. This would allow the local sea breezes to ramp up.
This satellite imagery shows those clouds as dawn sweeps over Baja.
On the California coast we are used to seeing lots of weird fog phenomenon fog falls, razor-thin fog banks, hard-topped fog banks, fast appearing and disappearing fog masses.
But is rare to see a star like fog pattern in the satellite imagery of the clouds like we see out in the Pacific west of the San Francisco Bay Area today Nov. 4, 2019.
These trails were a mystery when they were first seen in 1965 in the TIROS V11 satellite imagery. But meteorologists quickly determined the cause of those tracks. The diesel exhaust from ships contains aerosol particulates that as condensation nuclei. More and more water molecules aggregate on these “seeds” until a visible cloud forms aloft trailing behind the ship. It also appears that sulfur dioxide from the ship’s exhaust makes the clouds more reflective and allows them to carry more water.
These ship trails are most best seen using near IR sensors on the satellite but sometimes, as in this image, the tracks are easily seen in visible imagery.
So why the star-like image? This area of the Pacific is an area where many shipping lanes cross and by chance today the trails made a star!
Of course, these days when opinions sometimes count more than facts I am sure that someone will see it as an omen that their favorite politician has been blessed by the heavens.
I have now lived in Southern California for over 20 years and still miss the traditional “fall” weather that is experienced if you lived in a higher latitude. The joke is told though that California has it’s own 4 seasons – Earthquake, Fire, Flood and Drought.
If that is the case, then we can definitely say that we have moved full gear into fire season in the Southland as we shift into the see-saw of onshore/offshore flow. So far we have had 2 rounds of sustained offshore winds that have initiated damaging fires. Santa Ana wind events have become a new headache for us as not only do we suffer from dry, gusty winds, the fear of fires but also periods of precautionary power outages.
Well those headaches are not over and in fact this week sees rounds 3 and 4 quickly move in as a deep upper-Level Low carves out a path over the Central Mountains and pushes toward Mexico. This will bring cold air down into Southern California.
Sunday morning starts with a +4.5mb/100 mile onshore flow but by the evening a cold front sinks southward, High pressure moves into the Great Basin and the flow abruptly sinks to a -4mb/100 miles. This system will move fast and by morning the gradient turns more easterly and continues to plummet to a strong -6 mb/100 miles.
Consequently, overnight winds ramp up and red flag warnings go into effect for Monday. Models show much cooler air moving in which will mix down and create gusty conditions. We start with NE winds which quickly turn ENE/E in the morning.
This system moves quickly out and by the afternoon, the gradients start to relax and the beaches are likely to see a reversal with some sea breeze activity. The see-saw will tip quickly up and by Tuesday gradients are back to a +3.0 mb/100 miles. But not for long. Another system drops into the upper Low and by Wednesday we head back down again, very quickly. Models are indicating that we will be looking at offshore gradients at -9 mb/100 miles and another strong round of Santa Anna winds.
At the end of last season Ben installed a new sensor at Ventana Windsports. We did this because the old sensor at Baja Joe’s is sometimes in a partial wind shadow. Longtime Weatherflow customer John S. has installed a sensor on the Campground beach that covers that area nicely.
In recent years the North Pacific High has moved closer to the Baja coast in the winter and sometimes some of its westerly winds trickle across the Peninsula from the west coast. These westerly winds just aloft sometimes push the El Norte wind away from shore and make the winds inside weaker and shifty. I am hoping that John’s new sensor at the Club Cerralvo will pick up those winds in advance. Since this westerly wind phenomenon is most marked in the El Sargento to Hot Springs area be sure to check this sensor before driving to the El Sargento area to kite or do a downwinder. These westerly winds rarely occur when we have a pure local sea breezes but can occur anytime there is some El Norte wind.
As we start to move into the heart of fall we expect the North Pacific High to slide further south and that is exactly what we are seeing this weekend and the reason the Central Coast is enjoying such strong winds. Saturday’s pressure maps showed a 1028mb High centered to the west of the Southern California coast resulting in strong coastal gradients.
Jalama’s waters were busy as winds topped 30 knots for much of the afternoon.
Though Jalama can receive strong days in the fall, it is also tricky to forecast at this time of the year due to the High-pressure systems that move into the Great Basin behind eastward-moving cold fronts. This sets up NNE/E winds that battle against the coastal winds. The offshore winds are channeled through the East- West oriented canyons of the Santa Ynez range and can become very strong. We begin to see these winds set up later this weekend.
As the Pacific High strengthens and moves a little closer to the coast, the Los Angeles to San Francisco gradient increases on Sunday to -8.5mb. This will keep the coastal winds working. That will bring another strong day on Sunday for Jalama. But then the Great Basin High starts to exert its influence as the E/NE gradients start to climb. By Sunday the Los Angeles to Daggett gradient starts to increase and by Monday is at -5.1mb. So we start to watch the NE winds increase and the battle begins at the coast.
Sunday sees the coastal winds win out so expect another solid day but then forecast is not so certain.