renaissance

McWeather or Not

Dennis McTighe

The June Tune

Well we’re almost to the halfway point of June, 2011 and the sun continues to make an appearance every day this month so far. The mornings have been mired in a funk with even some drizzle thrown in but around 1 or 2 p.m., bingo!, bright sunshine!

Temperatures have been seasonable or slightly below the norm. Even as cloudy as June can be, some of our most intense heat waves have occurred  here in the sixth month. There was June 28-30, 1973 with a blistering 99 degrees in Laguna. Then in June of 1976 there was 96 degrees on the 25th and 26th. June 9-12, 1979 saw 100 degree temps. with rare Santa Ana winds the morning of the 10th with the flying spider event, webs of silk covering everything! Anyone who was around back then will know exactly what I’m talking about; it was quite a spectacle!
Then there was June 16, 1981, when Santa Ana winds arrived way out of season with a scorching 101 degrees at 1 p.m. and a humidity reading of a ridiculous 11%!. The surface water temp. that day for a short time was 81 degrees and the sand temp. was 141 degrees! There was so much solar energy on the slick ocean surface, a superior mirage appeared on the horizon making Catalina Island appear upside down. On June 30, 1985, the mercury soared to 97 degrees along with a super south swell, compliments of Category 3 Hurricane Dolores. Then came June 24, 1990, when the temp. hit an all time June high of 102 degrees in Laguna with downtown Los Angeles hitting 112 degrees, a new all time high temperature record that stood until last September when it hit 113 degrees.
The first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific 2011 season, “Adrian”, has come and gone. He briefly reached Category 4 status with sustained winds of 135 mph early last Friday, which is fine and dandy except he moved the wrong way, straight to the west, darn it! If he only had moved to the northwest instead, then it would’ve been easily double overhead. It seems the past decade or more has been coulda, woulda, shoulda as far as Baja swells are concerned, in fact, you’ve got to go all the way back to 1997 to find a truly epic hurricane swell season. Legalize El Nino! See you next week. Aloha!
Dennis McTighe served as a meteorologist at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii from 1969 to 1972, and was an NOAA forecaster  and earned a degree in Earth Sciences from UC San Diego and has been keeping daily weather records since 1958.

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