McWeather or Not



Dennis McTighe

Here at the beach we’re almost wishing it was June, after all, it was only gloomy in June a total of only five days this year. The unrelenting marine muck is dominating the weather scene this fall. The surf hasn’t been in a good mood either. Nor the water temp, for that matter. The Southern Hemisphere is quiet, the eastern Pacific tropical waters are done for the year, skunked again. The north Pacific is dormant too. I guess it’s just one of those years or should I say more like decades. It almost seems like there’s a restraining order out on Senor El Nino since 1997-98.

Our first extreme astronomical tides will be happening on Oct 27, 28, and 29 with a.m. high tides over 7 feet and afternoon low tides of almost minus 1.5 feet. The clocks get turned back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 6, as we return to Pacific Standard Time so darkness will fall before 5:30 p.m. Bummer.

Notable October events from the past: October 1958 saw four consecutive days of 100 degree temps. Oct. 14, 1960, saw a low of 38 degrees in Laguna, the coldest October low on record. October of 1961 had 50 mph Santa Ana winds with the devastating Bel Air fires. October 1965, a 10 day episode of 90 degree temps from 21-30. Things would change drastically however as November would be the wettest November on record with 9.65 inches. October 1970 had intense Santa Ana winds late in the month. Winds reached 50 mph here in town as wildfires raged in the Santa Ana mountains as well as Malibu, their worst fire on record. October 1971 saw 100 degree temps four times that month. Oct. 1, 1976, when the ocean temp was 73 degrees, the warmest October water temp on record thanks to you guessed it, El Nino. Oct. 1, 1981, rocked with 17 hours of continuous lightning and thunder along with over an inch of rain with nickel-sized hail. I guess the most significant October weather event of all time locally, of course, was Oct. 27, 1993, when a firestorm affected us in a way no one could have ever imagined.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, of this week, a red alert with possible strong Santa Ana winds has been posted by my former work place, NOAA. Gusts over 50 mph are possible with humidity below 10 percent late Wednesday into Thursday.

Let’s cross our fingers and toes nothing bad happens. 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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