Posts Tagged: pacific ocean

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 and book your holidays accordingly. kthnxbai.

Following the Huntington Beach Oil Trails, a Tale of Two Photos

View of the Oil Wells from the Huntington Beach Pier, late 1950s / early 1960s View from the Huntington Beach Pier, June 2010

On the Left: 1950s/1960s photo from the Huntington Beach archives, On the Right: 2010 photo taken today by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.

Sun. 06.13.10 – Yesterday while researching my blog post on the century of oil wells & pumping in Seal Beach & Huntington Beach, California, I found the above left photo of oil wells as seen from the Huntington Beach Pier taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Today, I decided to drive down the pier before sunset and try to find the place the photo was taken and take another photo, on the right. The original must have been taken from the mid-pier lifeguard tower due to the angle, and I did not have access to the tower, so I took it from the place the ladies the in the original stood.
I wanted to have the photos show how much HB has appeared to change in the last 50 years, although underneath not as much. There is still oil being pumped in between and around the million dollar ocean view homes.
As I drove out of the parking lot just north of the pier, I decided to take a video, see below, as I drove north up Pacific Coast Highway to narrate both as a visual and verbal history what I know of the land between the Huntington Beach Pier and the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
There is still some visible oil pumping and drilling, but much of it is now hidden or expensive homes have been built over the capped wells. As one drives north on PCH from the HB Pier towards Bolsa Chica the oil rigs, wells, pipes, and tanks along the roadside become more visible to the watchful eye. Then as the road descends into the Bolsa Chica wetlands, the oil wells and pipes become highly visible on three of the four sides of the wetlands.
Please do read yesterday’s blog post, On Offshore Oil, if you are wondering what I am talking about.

Video taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86 while driving north on Pacific Coast Highway from the Huntington Beach Pier.

A Crystal Clear, Most Lovely Southern California Day

Catalina Island as seen from Palos Verdes Drive

Uneven drive at Portuguese Bend Point Vincente Interpretive Center Santa Monica Bay on a beautiful day White Point, San Pedro Catalina Island as seen from White Point Cove Southern End of Catalina Island Looking south-east towards Point Fermin, San Pedro Port of Los Angeles, The Blimp, and the Santa Ana Mountains in the distance The Blimp!
Photos taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.

Sun 03.28.10 – Last Sunday afternoon the whole of SoCal was socked in with a not so nice foggy inversion layer that obscured all visibility and foiled my plans to take Lloyd Davis around the Palos Verdes Peninsula to whale watch before dropping him off at LAX so he could fly home to London. We did drive from the Queen Mary to LAX via Pt. Fermin, Pt. Vincente and Palos Verdes Drive, but it was not the show stopping March day I was hoping for.
Seven days later, today, the show stopping, crystal clear, once in every five years, truly stunning Southern California day occurred. It was beyond warm, 82F at the beach and 88F just a few miles inland with very little breeze. The air was so clear that one could not only see all the canyons & green hills of Catalina Island (26 miles out to sea) but one could clearly see Mt. San Gorgonio & Mt. San Jacinto 70 something miles to the east with their mantles of snow.
Not a day to waste, so I packed up the film Nikon FM3a, the digital Nikon D70s, my brother’s borrowed fancy binoculars, the Nokia N86, and off I went to drive Palos Verdes Drive around the peninsula to the Point Vincente Interpretive Center to see if there were any whales to be seen. The whole drive was packed out with Sunday sightseers and the hills were green and scattered with purple lupine and yellow mustard flowers.
When I got to Point Vincente, the whale watchers were out in force, from the hardcore with their expensive sight scopes to the families with binoculars. The best part is that 2 fin whales were with in eyesight distance about a mile offshore and a whole pod of common dolphins plus babies where only about 200 yds/m off the coast just beyond the kelp beds.
Between watching the fin whales breach, spout out water, flip their tail flukes and the antics of the baby dolphins plus the amazingly clear day, today was a true visual feast.
Happy Palm Sunday! Happy Spring! Happy Baby Dolphin Day!

Pigeons Sipping at the Showers by the Pier

Pigeons sipping shower water at the Seal Beach Pier

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

Tues 03.02.10 – Photo taken on my morning walk with Scruffy McDoglet, the sky was heavy with storm clouds over the land, but clearing up out near Catalina Island, so if you look closely the big, tall automobile carrier ship out in the bay has sunlight glinting off of it.

Pigeons, Part II, plus the Auto Carrier in the Bay