Weather or Not


April Stuff

Dennis McTighe

After a weekend of June gloom in April the sun has returned of course now that it’s Monday. What’s a bit of early gloom here in Laguna compared to what a goodly part of the rest of the country is enduring?  We’re getting off easy! Take the Pacific Northwest for starters. Talk about gloom! They have to deal with it for eight months! Seriously! At least when it’s gloomy around here the sun will pop back out within a few days and it’s still rather mild on most of the gloomy afternoons with temperatures still up to 65 or so. Whole different ballgame up there. Since last October there have been a total of 11 sunny days.

Laguna’s rainy season is winding down with an average of 1.2 inches of rain for April. Our wettest April was in 1983 with 6.02 inches. By the time you get to May the average is around two-tenths of an inch and by June the average is less than a tenth of an inch.

Things start warming up this month with average high temperatures of 68-72 degrees and average lows of 48-52 degrees. Laguna’s hottest April day was April 5, 1989, with 101 degrees followed by April 1, 1966, with 95 degrees. April’s coldest night was April 10, 1975, with 34 degrees. The warmest ocean temperatures for April are 75 degrees (no, not a typo) on April 15, 1997, and 73 degrees from April 22-25, 1992. Both readings were during strong El Nino events, especially the one in 1997. Today the water temperature finally broke the 60-degree barrier at 61 degrees but that reading may drop back down to the upper 50s overnight as we’ve got some stiff westerly winds blowing this afternoon. Incidentally, Laguna’s hottest day back in ’89 also saw the Newport Inglewood Fault rumble with a 4.7 shaker at 1 p.m. with the epicenter under Newport’s Fashion Island. Laguna’s biggest swell for April occurred on April 11 and 12, 2007, when one of the heaviest Southern Hemisphere swells of all time saw some standout spots like Laguna’s Brooks Street second and third reef reach triple overhead and Newport’s Wedge exceeding 20 feet.

Speaking of Southern Hemisphere action, ‘tis the season. As a rule, April usually sees the first significant pulse from way down there, after all it’s autumn south of the equator so the roaring 40s storm belt is ready to rock. Gotta run, 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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