Astronomer's Weather

Unlike the day-lubbers, our main concern is not temperatures. We need cloud cover, wind patterns, fog distributon, and the depth of the marine layer. Here's the good sites...

The NOAA SF/Monterey Bay detailed weather forecast , Local NOAA , Sky&Telescope Weather links Page

Satellite Imagery NCAR RAP Realtime Weather    
Balloon soundings SF Bay Area Fog Forecast    
NCAR realtime Java cloud conditions Real time Silicon Valley from Mt. Hamilton    
weather.com (mostly good for annoying ads) Live views of other SF Bay locations    

Accuweather satellite IR satellite loop

Selected ClearSkyClocks in Monterey Bay General Area

Cabrillo Observatory Mt. Lassen
Bonny Doon Airfield Mono Hot Springs area
Carrizo Plain National Monument Chews Ridge
Russian River area June Lake / Mammoth
Lake Del Valle Oak Ridge Observatory
Grandview Campground (Inyo Mountains) Mercey Hot Springs

Astro Weather Panel (a more detailed product similar to ClearSkyClocks)

Balloon soundings. Once you're in, click on the map's "OAK" symbol to get a table of the latest balloon data from Oakland. To determine the depth of the marine layer, look at the temperature and the humidity beginning at sea-level. Look for a sharp drop in humidty and rise in temperature. The elevation of this transition is the top of the marine layer and will correspond to the tops of the fog. This elevation is fairly constant throughout the SF and Monterey Bay area. The highest accessible point in Bonny Doon is at 736m (2400 ft.), and other of our favorite nearby observing sites.

For excursions to the hinterlands, including cross-country skiing and desert foray's...
Yosemite CDEC stations map , Yosemite Weather
CA Dept Water Resources Stations (including live snow depth)
Current Snow Depth Station Data

China Lake Naval Center's weather site.

My Planning Strategy
If there's an event or photo trip planned, I'll start with the satellite weather , especially the Central California page, to see if there's any storm-related weather coming in soon. If that's OK, I'll see what the fog pattern is on the satellite map. Does Bonny Doon, etc. poke above the fog tops, etc. If there's no fog, but there's a marine layer of damp cool air which may saturate when evening comes, I'll go to the balloon sounding site and find the elevation of the top of the marine layer. Then, I'll go to my list of local observing sites and find one which is above the marine layer and reasonably close.