Posted by: senorwx | March 2, 2011

Cool Weather: Can we blame the ocean?

Just when we thought we’d had enough chilly weather, February brought more of the same to San Francisco, Nayarit, our beloved San Pancho!

Now keep in mind the context of our concern. While the U.S. and Canada slogged their way through one of the worst winters in recent memory, we were feeling sorry for ourselves about daytime temperatures hovering around 70. The high temperature for February was 76.5 on the 19th at 5:35 pm. The low temperature was 51.4 on the 15th at 7:01 a.m.

Here’s the story on the beginning of 2011:
February average temperature 2011 – 64.5    2010: 70.1
January  average temperature 2011 – 65.3    2010: 71.6

You don’t need to be a math wizard to figure out that the average was 5 degrees cooler than last year, for both months. Note that I chose to use the term “cooler,” not “colder,” in deference to our friends in the north.

How to explain the cooler weather in San Pancho this year? A friend who lives just north of here and happens to be a real, honest-to-goodness meteorologist, suggests the surface temperature of the Pacific may have something to do with it.

In this graphic, you can see that the SST (sea surface temperature) at San Pancho is around 21 C (70 F) and is shown as light green. Just south of us the surface temperature is significantly higher (depicted in red).

My friend thinks that with the colder weather patterns to our north sending colder air over the ocean, the best the ocean can provide to warm the air up for us is around 70 degrees. And at night we get this same relatively cold air blowing off the mountains.

Surface Sea Temperatures Feb 2011

Surface Sea Temperatures Feb 2011

So things don’t really warm up that much for us. And the temperature range stays fairly narrow, in spite of that 25 degree range recorded for our high and low for February that occurred within a few days of each other.

The bigger question is: why did we leave all of our cold weather gear up North? The answer is: we thought we didn’t need it. Well, we did and we will bring some of it back from New England this year.

We won’t need it next January and February. Will we?


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