Southern Winds Producing Monsoonal Climate Also Warming Bay Area Coastal Waters
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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The same winds bringing the monsoonal moisture causing atypical summer weather in the Bay Area are also causing a phenomenon along the coast – making the water warmer.
Southerly winds have disrupted the normal pattern of “upwelling” of Bay Area coastal waters, a process where deep, cold water rises to replace surface water pushed away by a long period of wind.
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Northwest winds typically push across Bay Area coastlines, allowing colder water to well up toward the surface. Thanks to the sustained southerly winds, the process has been offset and the upwelling minimized.
That has allowed ocean temperatures along the coast to approach record highs – reaching the mid-60s instead of the mid- to upper-50s – nearly as warm as waters off Manhattan Beach and Coronado.
The monsoonal flow of moisture usually seen in the desert Southwest at this time has brought clouds, rain, thunderstorms and humidity to the Bay Area in recent weeks.