May Gray, June Gloom

Every area has its own weather quirks. They all follow the laws of physics, often through interaction too complex for humans to fully understand. Take this afternoons clouds.


Even Californians complain about the weather. We should be ashamed of ourselves!

We have one of those potential kvetch times on-the-way. It’s the seasonal California May gray and June gloom. We’ll be waking to cloudy skies for most of the next week. They disappear by noon. This type of weather happens sporadically through summer.

In the case of coastal California, the offshore marine layer is typically propelled inland by a pressure gradient which develops as a result of intense heating inland, blanketing coastal communities in cooler air which, if saturated, also contains fog. The fog lingers until the heat of the sun becomes strong enough to evaporate it, often lasting into the afternoon during the “May gray” or “June gloom” period – Wikipedia

We’re over 10 miles inland. It’s not as bad as for coastal dwellers. Of course, they live on the California Coast. They’d better not complain. Ever. About anything.

This weather scenario wasn’t something we were looking for in Connecticut. Here, it shows up nicely on the forecast models. At the top is a BUFKIT readout from tonight’s 00Z GFS for KSNA, John Wayne Airport in nearby Santa Ana (Clicking the image will give you a much larger, much more readable look).

BUFKIT is an amazing program for visualizing weather data. It was developed at NOAA and is free, as is the data it uses.

With maps you see a large area for one specific time. With BUFKIT you see one specific place over a period of time. Go ahead–reread that.

There’s a lot going on, but what I’m looking at is at the bottom of the image. The lines are isohumes–lines of equal humidity. The cloud producing marine layer isn’t thick. On most days it only goes up 2,000 feet. It produces low, dense overcast. Sometimes there’s drizzle.

The marine layer forms in the evening and fades through the morning.

Every area has its own weather quirks. They all follow the laws of physics, often through interaction too complex for humans to fully understand. Take this afternoons clouds.

4 thoughts on “May Gray, June Gloom”

  1. May & June gloom is normal for California. Dense fog along the beaches. They talk about fog here is nothing like the fog in California. It can be so dense you can barely see a foot in front of you. I remember I had gone out with some friends. On the way back to my house, we turned into what we thought was a street, but found it was a gas station. Good thing we didn’t hit anything. There is a lot of difference in weather between California and Connecticut.

  2. That’s the thing I really didn’t like about the California coast compared to the East Coast:

    Your out in California in late spring and early summer, and with the cool temps (often stuck in the low 60’s F), gray skies, low stratus/fog, and cold ocean currents – the beach can feel like your off the coast of Vancouver, BC in winter – lol.

    The worst part is you call back home to friends on the East Coast, and it’s 80 F in Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, MD…etc, the is blazing sunshine, and the ocean temperatures on the East Coast are already warmer (even by early June) than they will be all summer on the West Coast.

  3. So far we have had a not so good spring here in ct. I think that finally it is starting to get a little better. Everything looks so green now.I wonder how hot this summer will be.

  4. Ehl:

    Where are you in Ct ?

    I think we have had a nice spring so far, mostly sunny and highs in the 60’s and 70’s F. This Holiday weekend is supposed to be perfect in the Tri- State area – sunny and highs in the 75 to 80 F range (NYC could hit lower 80’s on Monday).

    DOn’t rush the heat – those 90’s will come soon enough!

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