Tuesday, August 2, 2016

San Francisco's Fog Back For Now

Fog Rolls into Pillar Point Harbor
We are now into the 5th year of drought for the Central California coast from Monterey to Point Reyes. Climate change and drought have significantly changed the normal weather patterns that have be entrenched in our area for as long as records have been kept. Last year in July ocean temperatures soared to near record highs in the entire Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuaries hovering around 64F for many months. This resulted in higher humidity, reduced fog and increased temperatures throughout the bay area and in particular the coastal areas. The predicted monster El NiƱo helped but did not make a significant dent in the drought at least not in central California!

Buoy 46012 San Francisco
Water Temp July 2016 55F
Water Temp July 2015 63F
     So far May, June, July and into August the water temperatures are cool and the normal SF Bay fog pattern has returned to normal. Recently there was a typical summer heat wave in the Bay Area which created a near 47F temperature differential, temperatures in Livermore 105F temperatures in Moss Beach 58F. Pretty amazing when you consider Moss Beach and Livermore are only about 30 miles apart!

Cooler water, up-welling and other global mechanisms have conspired to attract wildlife especially humpback whales in great numbers along the coast. In the last several days, I spotted humpbacks ~3 from Mussel Rock, about 3 more at Linda Mar and about 7 from Devils Slide in Pacifica. On almost any day, whales can be spotted along the coast lunge feeding and frolicking to the delight of spectators but to the dismay of the local sheriff trying to keep traffic from blocking and clogging the roads!

Humpbacks Lunge Feeding
Near Surfers Beach

From Devils Slide
Not seen this Behavior Before

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