The Marine Layer

According to the National Weather Service:

Somewhat Similar to the sea breeze, the marine layer also represents a difference between a cool, moist airmass and a warmer airmass. Unlike the sea breeze, which reforms almost everyday along the east coast in Summer, the marine layer can persists for days and weeks along the west coast, particularly Southern California.

The reason is the water along the west coast of the United States, comes from the Gulf of Alaska and is much cooler than at the same latitude along the east coast, where the Gulf Stream brings tropical water north. The surface temperature of the water off the California coast can be as much as 30°F (17°C) or more lower than at the same latitude on the east coast. The colder water means the air in contact with the water is colder and therefore is more dense.

When the air well above the water is warmer than the water, as it is normally for all seasons except winter but most common in late spring/early summer, a temperature inversion develops, where instead of the air cooling with increasing elevation the air actually increases in temperature with height. The cooler air below the inversion is called the marine layer and is cooled to the point at clouds form. Because of its persistence in early Summer, the people in Southern California it is often refer to it as the “May Gray” or “June Gloom”.

You can read more about it here if you’re so inclined.

I am educating myself (and you, my reader) about the marine layer because we are once again socked in with clouds and fog. Still no sign of the sun in Sunny (ha!) California.

That hasn’t kept me from the beach. I spend most of my day either walking or sitting on the beach. No sightseeing, no touring. Just pure relaxation. I watch the waves roll in or the surfers trying to catch a wave. This morning there was a surfing school lesson going on out there. I wish I had the nerve to join them. It’s the wet suit that puts me off. I just can’t imagine myself squeezed into one.

Learning to surf is one of those things I keep saying I’d like to do, but I never seem to work up the nerve to sign up for lessons. I tried surfing as a child. My parents used to rent a house at the Jersey shore for two weeks every August. I had an older cousin who surfed and hung out with the surfer dudes. After a few tries (and failures at it), I gave it up for body surfing. Or perhaps my older cousin gave up on me. I would imagine she didn’t much appreciate having a little kid hanging around, bugging her about learning how to surf.

Anyhow, no surf lessons this trip. I didn’t bring my bathing suit.

I cut back on my walk this morning. I only walked about 2 miles, this time on the beach instead of on the Oceanfront Walk (“boardwalk”). The last half mile was on the soft sand. That’s hard work if you’re not used to it.

Last night M and I had dinner at The Fish Market with three friends. We met them at the Hyatt (downtown San Diego) where we had drinks at The Top of the Hyatt and admired the beautiful view. It would be a great place to watch the sunset (if the sun were available to watch as it set and not hiding behind clouds and fog).

The food at The Fish Market was as I remembered: Fantastic! They do wonderful things with fresh seafood. I had the mesquite grilled Hawaiian ono. M had the monkfish. I’m not quite sure why they call monkfish “the poor man’s lobster” since it’s not exactly cheap. I’ve had lobster in Massachusetts that wasn’t nearly as expensive.

The side dishes were excellent as well. I had the coleslaw and potatoes au-gratin. Yummy. We all shared some fresh ceviche as an appetizer. I suspect I’ll be ordering that at every dinner until we leave now that I’ve discovered how good it is.

This is the last day of the conference M is attending. We’ll get to spend the next two days together, sightseeing or touring or something. I suspect the days will be full, and I’ll have less time to post. But post I will since it’s NaBloPoMo.

Right now I’m heading back to the beach to watch the surfing lessons. Maybe I’ll learn a trick or two.

2 Comments on “The Marine Layer”

  1. English Nutter says:

    I hope you’re having a fab time together. Say hi to the doc from me. 🙂

  2. Christina says:

    Well now, WHY have I not visited your site all this time? I know that my good friends have been reading you since last year, yet I have totally been missing out. Of course, I have to introduce myself while you are in my hometown 🙂 I am rather jealous as I have always wanted to rent a condo for a week on the beach. Yes, the marine layer has been heavy this week. Quite the welcome respite from the wildfire weather, but certainly not great for a beach vacation. It’s rather unusual to have that this time of year – this is more typically May/June weather. You are eating at some great places so far! I hope you continue to have a great time and I look forward to visiting more often :->

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.