Dennis’ Local Almanac

By DENNIS McTIGHE

Here comes May

Hooray, the sun’s out again after a rather lengthy absence. It was a nice Sunday afternoon here at 3:30 p.m. with a SE breeze and a mild 66 degrees. The water’s still chilly at around 58 degrees and the waves are small. I call ‘em knee knockers. There’s a lot of people out and about enjoying the sunshine.

The month of May is knocking at the door as the dry season is pretty much under way with May averaging less than a quarter inch of rain. June is even drier with around a tenth of an inch. July is our driest month of the year with barely a trace of rain. August gets only about a tenth of rain on average. Come September we only receive around a quarter inch, and October gets about four tenths before our rainy season begins to set in some time in November, usually the second half of that month. So, between May and October (the dry season), we get less than nine tenths of an inch for that period.

May, as a rule, sees a significant ramp up of the stubborn, slow to burn off marine layer with an average of seven to 10 days where it doesn’t clear at all. But the amount of stratus clouds varies from year to year. Things begin to warm up a bit because of much longer days where the sun doesn’t set until 7:40 p.m. – almost 8 p.m.

May’s average hi-lo is 71-51 at the beginning of the month and around 73-56 towards the end of May. Laguna’s hottest day in May occurred twice, on the 3rd and again on the 15th from two separate out-of-season hot Santanas with a sizzling 97 degrees along with humidity at water’s edge as low as nine percent! This happened in 2013.

The chilliest low temp for the month occurred on May 4 at 44 degrees. Just to set the record straight, all these statistics were not just pulled out of a hat; they are legit numbers from my personal daily weather and ocean records that I’ve been keeping since 1958 to this very day – just in case some of you are wondering, where does he get all these numbers!? I started this daily stuff when I was only 10.

May’s normal rainfall is around a quarter inch. The wettest May on record was a whopping 3.03 inches of rain from an out-of-season surprise cutoff low that loitered just off our coast for three whole days with intermittent strong thunderstorms. Our second wettest May occurred in 1990 with 1.71 inches from a late in the season strong Pacific low that found its way down into our region. May’s normal ocean temp is around 63 degrees early in the month to 65 or so by month’s end. The warmest ocean temp in May was 74 in 1972, again in 1992, and once again in 1997. All were El Niño years. The coldest was 50 in 1974 and again briefly in 1980.

This spring so far is our coolest on record up to April 27 with maximum temps running five to eight degrees below normal with only one day where it reached 70. That trend is likely to continue for the upcoming week. Local ocean temps are also running well below normal with an average of 57.8. That trend will also continue this upcoming week. What El Niño!? We might even get a bit of rain later this week, so stay tuned on that one. Just remember, the worst day in Laguna is still a hundred times better than the best day in Portland (unless you love the drizzle).

Until next week, ALOHA


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