June 20, 2003

By Michael Strickland

June Gloom

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer. The summer solstice. Midsummer's Day. Longest day of the year. I live a mile from the beach in San Diego, America's Finest City, a prime destination for visitors seeking sun and surf during the summer. So you'd think that I'd be loving life right now, soaking up the rays like a true sun-worshipping beach bum. I don't think so. "Sun Diego" is known for its beautiful beaches, its near-perfect climate, its wealth of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, another hallmark of this fine city is "June Gloom."

Though June welcomes the beginning of summer, it also sees less sunshine than any other month of the year in San Diego. As the air over land warms up, it meets the cool air chilled by the cold Pacific Ocean. The colder air gets trapped beneath the warmer air, and the coastal fog and clouds—the "marine layer"—have nowhere to go. As a result, June in San Diego means gray, overcast, "gloomy" days.

This year's June Gloom has been gloomier than ever. In fact, it got an early start, generating a soundalike nickname for last month: "May Gray." For the last six weeks or more, the sun has peeked out on only a handful of occasions. Day after day, gunmetal gray clouds have weighed down in darkly oppressive skies. I'm starting to think I live in Seattle.

It's thicker than usual too. In normal June Glooms, you can escape the oppression by simply driving a few miles inland. The marine layer normally keeps to the coast, leaving the rest of the county to bask in warm sunshine. But this year, the gloom has covered the entire county in a thick gray blanket. On my trip to the local mountains two weeks ago, I didn't escape it till I had reached nearly 3,000 feet of elevation and had left the last little town—Pine Valley—in my wake.

I'm sure my readers in other parts of the country are shaking their heads in contempt. Admittedly, we southern Californians are quite spoiled when it comes to the weather. But that's just the point. When you're used to having perfect, sunny days 11 months out of the year, a month of overcast days is "gloomy" indeed.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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June Columns:

6/30: Halfway There
6/27: 28 Days Later
6/26: I Am a Racist
6/24: America the Obese
6/23: Reality TV Sells
6/20: June Gloom
6/18: Hatch's Hollywood Hacking
6/16: Qualcomm Stadium
6/15: Happy Father's Day
6/14: Flag Day
6/13: Friday the 13th
6/12: Extreme
6/9: Spammed
6/8: Lack of PLANning
6/7: When Grass Attacks
6/4: Culture Shock
6/1: The Baja 500
Previous months in The Archive

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