Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life

Section contents:

Windy ocean: Image credit-David Clague, MBARI

Winds, waves, and currents

in July

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Diver-at-work symbol (c) Kim Fulton-Bennett This page under construction.
Here are some of the topics that will be covered in this chapter. More text and images will eventually be added to this section. Thank you for your patience.

Physical processes in July:

  • Fog is typical of the morning hours; it may stay all day when a cold front moves across Pacific Northwest.
  • Periods of strong northwest wind become less frequent; replaced by occasional hot spells with light winds near coast (when Pacific High moves eastward, so that it's eastern limb sits over the Central Coast).
  • Hot spells typically end after one to three days with a "southern surge" when a jet of fog moves up the coast from the south, bringing southwest winds and fog to normally clear, sheltered areas such as Santa Cruz.
  • High clouds, humid weather, and occasional light rain or thunder occur occasionally in summer when monsoon moisture moves up from Mexico.
  • With less wind, upwelling events become less frequent; water near shore stabilizes, and nutrient-rich area and peak productivity moves closer to shore.
  • With lighter winds, upwelling plume and front become less strong and move farther out from shore; stable-water upwelling shadow area expands seaward. By August, front may disappear entirely.
  • With less frequent upwelling, California current eddies and filaments are more likely to move close to shore and into Monterey Bay.

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