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Mild Days, Cold Nights, and Beach Hazards

Air Quality Report (As of 6:30pm)
Good to moderate for all reporting areas.

High pressure will continue to dominate the weather over the West for the next week. Weak weather systems will slide by to our north or approach from the west and fall apart, but no major impacts are expected. We will see some minor impacts, however. The first system will drape a dying cold front over our area overnight. Light onshore winds may push a few low clouds back to the coast. Another weather system will approach from the west by Thursday which will bring a few clouds back. The ridge will strengthen through the weekend with light offshore flow. This will keep lows chilly, but afternoon highs will likely be warm. No rain is in the forecast for the next week, but there are some hints that starting mid-week next week, the pattern may finally change.


From the National Weather Service in Monterey:
*Beach Hazards Statement*

For the immediate coast of Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties *except the north shore of Monterey Bay* through 10AM Tuesday.

Enhanced Risk of Sneaker waves and rip currents for west and northwest facing beaches Late Monday Morning into Tuesday. A long period northwest swell arrives this morning and will impact the coastline through late Tuesday morning before subsiding. Initial swell heights of 7 to 9 feet at 19 seconds will increase the risk of sneaker waves today. Swell heights will build to 9 to 11 feet at 17 seconds to 18 seconds tonight and early Tuesday morning before subsiding late Tuesday morning. A much longer period swell train arrives Wednesday and result in a much greater risk of these hazards.

In particular danger are west to northwest facing beaches.

Impacts: Increased risk of ocean drowning. Sneaker waves often catch people off guard and knock them into the ocean. Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore. Use extreme caution near the surf zone as large waves will be 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.

A Beach Hazard Statement for sneaker waves means that conditions are present to support a heightened risk of unsuspecting beachgoers 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. 

A Beach Hazard Statement for rip currents means that conditions are present to support a heightened risk of strong rip currents. Rip currents are typically more frequent and stronger in the vicinity of jetties, inlets, and piers. Swimmers caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the coast to escape the rip current before trying to swim for shore. Swimmers should always
swim near a lifeguard. 

Please listen to NOAA Weather Radio or your local media for the latest updates on this situation.


Overnight: Mostly clear with a few low clouds near the coast. Expect coastal lows in the mid-30s to low 40s with mid 20s to mid 30s inland where frost is once again likely. Breezy northerly winds over the hills.

Tuesday: Patchy low clouds/fog on the coast early, then becoming sunny for all areas. Breezy over the hills at times, dying down in the afternoon. Expect coastal highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s with mainly 60s to low 70s inland.

Wednesday:  A few low clouds near the coast and a few high clouds passing through, otherwise sunny. Expect coastal highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s with mainly 60s to low 70s inland.

Extended: A weather system will approach on Thursday with increased clouds but no rain and not much of a temperature change. The weather will remain tranquil through the weekend with chilly mornings and warm afternoons along with dry conditions and mostly sunny skies. The pattern may begin to change by mid-week next week. Stay tuned.


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This week's normal temperatures:

--COASTAL CITIES--
LOW: 43ºF
HIGH: 61ºF

--INLAND CITIES--
LOW: 36ºF
HIGH: 63ºF

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-The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for December 8th – 14th calls for the likelihood of ABOVE normal temperatures and BELOW normal precipitation. 
 
-El Niño/La Niña STATUS: Weak La Niña
-Forecast into Winter: La Niña Advisory

-Area drought status: 
Moderate drought for much of Santa Cruz & Santa Clara Counties and the far eastern side of San Benito County, Abnormally dry for all other areas.

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Dann Cianca

Dann Cianca is the chief meteorologist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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