This late spring and summer post-el nino has led with “Catalina Eddy” affects. A phenomenon that usually occurs in early summer which leads to overcast mornings and ocasional drizzle and sometimes lasts into the afternoons. Locally we nickname it “May gray”, “No-Sky-July” , “Fogus”, “Bight of California ” This affect is triggered by Low Pressure in the Gulf of Alaska or Pacific Northwest, promoting west to northwesterly winds along the coast and high pressure just to the east of California. It forces the cooler ocean air inland. If the marine layer is deep enough, low clouds and fog form. Temperatures can cool by as much as 15 degrees. Clouds near the California coast increase and the cloud layer can extend inland. However, the lack of sunshine is usually confined within about 10 miles of the coast, with locations farther inland seeing very different weather conditions.
It gets its name from Catalina since it typically forms near Catalina island the largest of the channel islands off of Southern California.
This has somewhat disrupted our typical southern swell affect creating perfect dive conditions in North P.V. and also mixing things up in Laguna.
Most tourists and first time visitors to Southern California can be surprised when visiting our area during summer misled into thinking that there are always clear skies and sun but we know better that our wonderful local marine climate is not that simple.
(Graphic: Los Angeles Times)