SAN DIEGO – When you think of the beaches of Southern California in the weeks leading up to summer, visions of blue skies and warm sand stretching along endless miles of sun-kissed beaches probably come to mind.
So it may come as a bit of a shock to you that San Diego was the cloudiest city in the lower 48 in May, and that neighbor to the north, Los Angeles, was not far behind.
THE REASON WHY THE SURF AT THE CALIFORNIA BEACH IS MUCH COLDER THAN THE WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC AND THE GULF COAST
May average daytime cloud cover in San Diego was 82.5% very gray. The stretch from May 12 to 31 featured 18 days considered cloudy, and two other days barely received enough sunlight to register as partly sunny amid 70% cloud cover.
An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. He could have been eliminated.
Long-term weather records show that San Diego’s overall average cloud cover for May is 63.9%.
The high temperature at the San Diego airport only hit 70 degrees twice in the past month, and its overall average of 66.5 degrees was tied for fifth-coldest on record.
Los Angeles (LAX Airport) was tied for second with Greensboro, North Carolina, with 74.5% cloud coverage. It was even gloomier on the beaches of southern California than it was in Anchorage, Alaska, which had an average cloud cover of 74.2% in May.
The only place with a cloudier May was in the far reaches of the Arctic. Utqiagvik, Alaska just surpassed San Diego with 84.5% cloud coverage, though the city on Alaska’s northern arctic shores also only had an average high of 30 degrees — not exactly beach weather there.
STUNNING WEEKEND WEATHER: ‘GLOOMAGEDDON’ COMES TO LOS ANGELES
Cloudy days in late spring and early summer aren’t unusual for coastal Southern California—they call it “May Grey,” which becomes “June Gloom.” The sun is warm, but the ocean waters are still in the 50s and 60s, which cools the air and fog, and nighttime sea breezes on land drive fog and clouds inland.
The sun will gradually burn out in the afternoon, only for the fog to reappear overnight.
But those cloudy days are usually interspersed with several days of warmer offshore winds that will keep the gloomy sea clouds at bay. Just not last month. Persistent inland flow has kept a steady dose of low cloud and coast-hugging mist for weeks, with the gloomy weather pattern appearing to hold through the first week of June.