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Weather Team

Rain & Waves

Air Quality Report (As of 7am)
Good to moderate for all reporting areas.

Weather Story: The weather pattern will remain active for the next couple of weeks with rain becoming more and more likely. The first system will arrive late Thursday, bringing some light rain to the region—favoring coastal areas. Additional storm systems will follow every day or two into next week with varying intensity. Timing is also tough to nail down due to the sheer number of storms lined up. There is some potential for stronger storms next week with heavier rain.

From the National Weather Service in Monterey:
*Beach Hazards Statement*
… for the immediate coast of Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties from through Wednesday evening.

A very long period WNW swell will impact the Sonoma to Big Sur coast tonight through Wednesday evening. Initial forerunner waves of 21 to 23 seconds will begin to arrive along the Sonoma coast late this afternoon before spreading southward during the evening hours. Wave heights will rise by Wednesday morning to 5 to 9 feet at a periodicity of 18 to 20 seconds. This will result in a high risk of sneaker waves. The largest energetic sneaker waves will arrive irregularly every few minutes to as infrequently as once every 30 minutes during otherwise deceptively calmer seas, and consequently may catch those on coastal jetties, rocks, piers, or shorelines off guard and may injure them or knock them into the cold, turbulent ocean. Beachcombing is not advised during this timeframe. In addition, strong rip currents will accompany the energetic wave train, particularly at WNW facing beaches. These types of events claim lives each year so extreme vigilance is advised if visiting the coast.

The main impacts will be felt at W-WNW beaches, including but not limited to: Ocean beach, Montara state beach, Halfmoon Bay state beach, Manresa state beach, Marina state beach.

Potential sneaker waves will create dangerous conditions at area beaches. Steep beaches will have a higher risk of sneaker wave activity with greater wave run-up onto beaches. Occasionally larger waves will also wash over jetties and rock outcroppings that normally stay dry.

A Beach Hazard Statement for sneaker waves means that conditions are present to support an increased danger of unsuspecting beach goers being swept into the sea by a wave. People walking along the beach should never turn their back to the sea. Fisherman should avoid fishing from rocks or jetties. Beachcombing is not advised.

*High Surf Advisory*
… for the immediate coast of Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties from 10PM tonight through 3AM Friday.

Dangerously large breaking waves of up to about 20 feet at west to northwest beaches later tonight through Thursday night. Enhanced coastal run up, localized beach erosion, and stronger rip currents are expected throughout.

Main threat will be at west to northwest facings beaches along the entire coastline from Sonoma county southward through Big Sur in Monterey county. Excludes the Northern Monterey Bay (including Santa Cruz) due to this area being sheltered from the northwest seas.

Sneaker waves and large breaking waves can sweep people off jetties and docks, and into dangerous seas. Life-threatening swimming conditions and localized beach erosion can be expected. Cold water rescues or drownings are more likely with these waves and stronger rip currents.

These types of events lead to cold water drownings each year so extreme vigilance is advised.

A High Surf Advisory for large breaking waves means conditions are present to support large waves along the surf zone capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean water. Cold water shock may cause cardiac arrest, and it also can cause an involuntary gasp reflex causing drowning, even for a good swimmer. The surf zone will be dangerous due to strong currents and powerful breaking waves.

Wednesday: Scattered high clouds early, then a bit of sun sneaking through in the afternoon. Slightly warmer with highs in the 50s to low 60s. Clouds increase late with some light rain possible after 10PM.

Overnight: Light rain overnight—mainly for coastal areas and northern valleys. Temperatures will be in the 30s inland and 40s on the coast.

Thursday: Skies clearing after dawn. Mostly sunny, cool and breezy with highs in the 50s to low 60s.

Extended: A weak system will pass by Friday, looking dry for our area right now. However, additional systems Saturday and Sunday are looking wetter. In fact, we’re likely to more weather systems ever day or two next week as well!


This week's normal temperatures:

LOW: 42ºF
HIGH: 60ºF

LOW: 35ºF
HIGH: 61ºF


-The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for January 6th – 12th calls for the likelihood of near normal temperatures and ABOVE normal precipitation. 
-El Niño/La Niña STATUS: Weak La Niña
-Forecast into Winter: La Niña Advisory

-Area drought status: 
Moderate drought for our entire viewing area.  

Local Forecast / Weather / Weather Authority

Zach McIntyre

Zach McIntyre is the morning meteorologist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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