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Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

August 27, 2019

Our real summer starts on Labor Day! 

Dennis 5Well we almost pulled it off for the 56th Annual Brooks Street Surfing Classic over the weekend but the waves arrived just a bit too late. Saturday’s waves weren’t up to par, so we put the contest on hold, as it’s a two-day event. Sunday was a different story as a clean 3-5 ft. south swell compliments of former Tropical Storm Ivo with excellent shape came in from just the right direction. However, if we started the action Sunday, we would have had to have the finals on another Saturday or Sunday, but there’s no guarantee that there would be good conditions the rest of the season. Like I said, the planets almost have to line up for conditions to be favorable both days. Time is ticking on, so stay tuned on that one.

Boy, summer sure blew by fast as next weekend will be Labor Day Weekend and on Tuesday the 3rd, we get our town back. We’ll be able to drive across town in just a few minutes, and the beaches will be much quieter. That’s quite a transition between next Monday and Tuesday. 

For the locals, our real summer starts the day after Labor Day. That’s when the crowds are pretty much gone. Some of our finest weather happens in September and October and even into November in a good year. If there’s going to be a 100-degree day, it’ll happen in September and October. Certainly we’ll see at least some 90 degree days. In September the water is still pretty warm as a rule and even well into October in an El Nino year.

As we get into September, the morning marine layer is not as prevalent, and there are clear sunny skies from sunup to sundown. The days are still pretty long with at least twelve hours of sun until the last week of September. The rainy season hasn’t started yet with only an average of a quarter inch of rain in September, less than a half inch in October, and about 1.2 inches in November, but a lot of Novembers see much less than that. 

We’re also approaching the season when hot dry winds blow out of the northeast from a strong high pressure over the Great Basin, mainly Utah. That’s when we get our hottest days of the year. On September 19, 1939, a strong Santana wind event sent temps in Laguna up to an all-time high of 109 degrees and a whopping 119 in Santa Ana. These winds are extremely dry where humidity readings will plunge into the single digits even at water’s edge. That’s when the red flag is hoisted as the threat of wildfires increases across Southern California.

Normally the first Santana wind event of the season occurs around October 5, but it’s happened as early as September 1st as it did in 1955 and September 5th in 1988 when both events sent temps to above 100 degrees here in Laguna. The latest date for the first Santana wind event was on Christmas Day of 2000. 

Historically, not one season has escaped the wrath of the Devil Winds at some point. Back in the day, the early Spanish settlers used to call these winds  “Vientos Diablos” for Devil Winds. October 27, 1993 will lay testimony to that! 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!