June Gloom in July: La Nina or Eyjafjallajökull Ashes to Blame?

June Gloom in July

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86 this misty morning about 10:30am looking out from Seal Beach to Esther the Oil Platform.

Mon. 07.05.10 – Rarely does the Southern California’s June Gloom last into July. Some years the marine layer of clouds will stubbornly persist in the mornings until the Fourth of July, but most years the Fourth of July dawns sunny and hot, not low, gray, looming clouds with a windy chill as yesterday’s weather.
In the course of my living memory, there have only been two summers where the clouds stayed past noon and/or the clouds stayed all summer long, depressing many and causing tourists* to snark about “Sunny California”.
The summer of 1983 had clouds that lasted well into July and it did not get good and sunny at the beaches until August. The winter of 1982/1983 was one of our biggest El Nino years in history and the following year was a La Nina year. The summer clouds created by the chillier than normal ocean & hot land foretold of the La Nina to come.
The summer of 1991 had clouds as far inland as Buena Park all summer long, while it was odd to be socked in with clouds 20 miles inland from the ocean in August, that was the year that Mt. Pinatubo blew it’s top and created the 2nd biggest eruption in the 20th Century. But the early nineties were also a strong La Nina and California drought era.
In a year of drought, it can be a blessing to the parched hillsides to have clouds and a bit of mist over a hot, drying sun, even if it causes S.A.D. and cranky beach goers.
Scientists announced last month that this past year’s El Nino had abated and that the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the Pacific has lower than normal temperatures and they declared 2010 to be a La Nina year. Or shall we also account Eyjafjallajökull’s ashes to partially account for this year’s extended June Gloom season in SoCal?
My bet to account for the longer than usual June Gloom this year is largely with La Nina with a possible sprinkling of volcano ashes. Regardless, this morning and yesterday morning had low lying clouds bordering on fog and the temperatures were in the 60s F / late teens C and not the 80s F.
Yesterday the sun finally burned the clouds off at 12:43pm and they did not return until after 5pm. Today we had a sprinkling rain most of the morning, the clouds didn’t burn off until after 2pm and by 4:30pm the clouds had rolled back in.
Clouds most of the day with a fine misty morning? Who imported in a nice western Irish summer to Los Angeles?
* Dear tourists, please note that SoCal is at her *TRUE* glory from Jan 15 – March 15th. When your town is knee deep in with snow & cold, SoCal gets a storm or two that blows in, blows out, and leaves crystal clear, sunny days with snowy mountains. Our summer does not really start until July most years, and does not really heat up until August & September. Check Weather.com and book your holidays accordingly. kthnxbai.