If you’re like most Southern Californians, you’re not from here, however, you’ve surely been convinced that it’s sunny and warm all year long, right? Wrong! In fact, May and June are the most unattractive months of the year in Southern California, but why? And, more importantly, will you and/or your transplant roommate survive?
Like clockwork, as Spring wanes, the Southern California coastline gets buried in a “marine layer” — not because of new recruits at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruitment Depot) — but, because of two clashing weather systems from the land and ocean.
Usually when weather systems collide, you get a big storm, but, because our So-Cal systems are so mild, we just get a sheet of fog and mist. How cute.
So, beginning around the end of spring, a thick fog layer builds over the ocean at around midnight. Then, it hits the coast and sits on top of San Diego for half the day, “burning off” by late morning / early afternoon (we hope.)
In other words, once atmospheric and oceanic conditions find a happy medium, there will no longer be a fog mass overshaddowing our goals of golden skin and carefree beach days.
So was it always like this? Yes. In the early 20th century, the phenomenon was sometimes known as the high fog. A long June Gloom season, extending late into the summer, was also known as the Summer Bummer.
Crazy enough, when San Diego was beginning to boom in the 50’s, properties in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Point Loma were valued significantly lower than sunny inland areas like Lemon Grove, Granite Hills, and Mission Hills. This was because coastal life was considered undesirable due to the cold and foggy pre-summer months.
The good news, with the start of summer, we can put May Gray and June Gloom in the rearview. The bad news? “Fogust” is just around the corner…