Just our luck, June 1st and no June Gloom. As the calendar flips over to a new month, you would think we could celebrate with the weather trend that borrows it’s name. Especially since we have gone most of the last two weeks deep within it too.
June Gloom is the depressing weather condition that is pretty common in Southern California coastal areas this time of year. Notorious for the month of June, it’s something that comes up in early summer months — getting the other names like the “May Grey”, “No Sky July”, or my favorite “Fogust”. What we are talking about is basically a thick low level cloud coverage. Some days it can get low enough to be considered fog, some days it turns into rain. Some days it burns off by the afternoon. Some days it sneaks back near sundown. Some days it never goes away.
The weather that causes June Gloom is essentially the battle between the warm air of summer up against the cooler ocean waters fed by the California currents. It’s helped by the higher moisture in the air typical for this time of the year, as the Santa Ana winds running in from the desert hasn’t started. Over night, the cool air and moisture forms off shore, and as the night moves into day, the marine layer moves on land. A heavier marine layer, or lower atmospheric pressures, can allow the layer to overcome the hills and mountains around Southern California, and is the difference between it covering just the beach areas or rolling all the way into the Inland Empire. They say it’s not uncommon for someone driving from the San Fernando Valley over the 405 at Sepulvada Pass, and descend into the dank gloom of Los Angeles (and depending on your opinion of the valley or LA, it could be symbolic or ironic).
As much as you might think that June Gloom leads to sucky world around me, I kinda like … mostly. Don’t get me wrong, there is some downsides to it. Making outdoor plans is unpredictable as you can’t always predict if the grey will burn off or turn into drizzle. Also, it really messes with Auggie the Doggie — he has turned full California and refuses to ‘do his business’ anywhere that grass could make his precious precious paws wet. My mornings, however, are fabulous.
Between me and the ocean is the Vedugo Mountains. To reach me, the marine layer has to go over that mountain. It does, routinely, but that’s the cool part. The clouds crest over the top, and curl, roll, or lay on the higher elevations. The dewy air up there helps turn that mountainside green & rich. On my slower mornings, it’s nice to sit out on my porch with a cup of coffee and watch the mountain & gloom. Even on faster paced mornings, it’s good to look up at see what that haze can do to change the beauty of the day.
So yeah, welcome to the gloomy days of June. It maybe the worst weather of the year around here, but it’s well worth the gloom.