Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunny California

When I think of California I think of palm trees, In-N-Out Burger, and perfect weather. There is a reason for the perfect weather in California. A high pressure off the west coast usually dominates during the summer. High pressures are areas of sinking air. Sinking air inhibits cloud growth and also warms surface temperatures. However, a breeze from the ocean during the day, called a sea breeze, brings cool ocean air inland. Marine air is cool because water doesn't heat up as quickly as land. Water has a high specific heat and the water is churning. A perfect mix of cloudless days and a cool breeze keeps temperatures near the coast in the 70's.

Last weekend I swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I've touched the Pacific several times before, but it's always been too cold to swim. Finally, I had my chance. Huntington Beach screams California: surfboards, volleyball, sand, and sun. My favorite part was swimming into the waves and letting the waves knock me over.

The weather seems too good to be true here. I need to remember that California is a big state. Below is an image from Mesowest showing the high temperatures on June 27, 2013. Temperatures were cool along the coast where there is a large marine influence, but step over the mountains and you're in the hot desert. Remember, California is also home to Death Valley, perhaps the hottest place in the United States! Most western states will experience 100 degree temperatures this weekend. I'll go to the beach again and enjoy 80 degrees.