Tonight should be the best viewing for the Perseids meteor shower. I’ll be out with my camera to try and catch a few burning up as they descend toward Earth. Originally I was going to head to the beach, figuring an unobstructed ocean view would be great. Bad planning on my part!
I’ve reassessed. Cousin Michael and I will head inland instead.
As a meteorologist I’m used to factoring large bodies of water into the forecast. In Connecticut the influence of Long Island Sound often meant the difference between snow and rain on the shoreline.
Here in California our nearby body of water is the Pacific Ocean. Mo water. Mo problems.
Chilly water cools air near the surface making it more dense than the atmosphere above. In meteo terms, it’s an inversion.
Practically speaking this ‘marine layer’ acts as an atmospheric cap helping form low overcast. Sometimes it’s low enough and thick enough to form fog. Sometimes it produces drizzle.
As the day goes on, the Sun’s warmth breaks the cap and the clouds disappear.
The cloudy influence of the marine layer is pretty dependable during our warm weather season. Say the words “June gloom” and locals understand immediately, even in August.
Our home is 12 miles from the water. Since our late June arrival, marine layer overcast has rolled in nearly every night. If I went to the beach to see Perseids, I’d see nothing!
The first mountains east of us should block the clouds. They’re not very far. That’s where we’ll head.
I’m writing this at 9:20 AM. The Sun is beginning to break through after another overcast night. The marine layer cycle continues.