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What’s May Gray and June Gloom in San Diego?

Gray skies pacific beach

A beach trip without beach weather. | Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

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San Diegans are used to sunny skies + warm weather, but we’re in the mist of a darker season. Locals call this “May Gray + June Gloom,” which means just that — expect dreary skies or occasional sprinkles.

While we’re familiar with this annual weather pattern, we want to shed light on the science behind the phenomenon + look at ways to survive the grays without feeling too much gloom.


Dark skies at Petco Park. | Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

☁️ Where’s the sun?

The darker skies are a result of the marine layer, which occurs due to temperature inversion. Normally, air temperatures decrease with height — but the ocean makes air at the sea-surface cooler than higher elevations, which produces the dreaded fog.

Depending on temperatures and severity, each day is different — so grab those sunglasses + an umbrella. Sometimes the layer extends up to 80 miles inland with some drizzle, but some days it’s clear skies and beach weather.

⛅ Staying bright

Often, foggy skies will rain supreme, but that shouldn’t dampen all of your plans. So, we wanted to sprinkle in some ideas that will help you combat those darker days.

☀️ When does it end?

It’s a common mist-conception that the marine layer ends in June, but terms like “No-Sky July” + “Fogust” exist for a reason. However, foggy days become less common in July as sea-surface temperatures rise and winds decrease. You might see some July showers or a gray August morning, but don’t worry — the sun won’t be gone for too long.

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