Some of the coolest days of the summer are arriving this week around the Bay Area. Is it really August?
It's a weather pattern that has a lot of folks who have lived their entire lives in the Bay Area wondering what's really going on with this year's unusually cool summer.
The culprit is an odd placement of a trough of low pressure across the coast that has kept a fairly deep marine layer spilling inland for most of the summer. So instead of a giant dome of high pressure -- that either will compress down that layer of cooler ocean air to just the coastline (200-500 ft. thick and lower) or offshore winds to warm things up -- we've seen nearly the opposite.
The net result? Highs in the 50s and 60s throughout the coast and Peninsula locations and inland highs in the 70s and 80s. Though its looking more like 70s for most spots inland to wrap up the week. Amazing!
While I've heard my share of complaints from folks wanting warmer weather (myself included) there have been many benefits ranging from health, saving you money and public safety.
Health: Zero Spare the Air days to date -- even with stronger air pollution standards enacted in recent years. A steady ocean breeze has prevented higher concentrations of ground level ozone from pooling and forming. More coastal clouds have also limited the sun's ability to break down airborne chemicals via photochemical processes that lead to ground level ozone (smog) from forming.
Economy: Running your A/C system less frequently, especially if you live inland, not only savess money, it also means less strain on the state's power consumption and need to purchase power agreements/management around the region. The decreased need for generating power to cool us down should also have some benefits of not producing as much air pollution via power plants.
Public Safety: Our wet spring has been followed by a fairly cool summer, so far, which has been good news for fire danger around the Bay Area. Thanks to our marine layer, we've had relatively cool, moist air pumping into the Bay Area as opposed to dry, gusty offshore winds where the air warms up as it descends down to the coast. Offshore wind patterns are more common from September to October, coinciding with the warmest days of the year for the coast.
So there's some to like or dislike given our current weather pattern. What appears certain for now is that we really aren't likely to see any big changes into and through the weekend.