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Is it me or is the marine layer worse in So Cal this year?

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#26 james7ca

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:05 AM

It seems that a few sites have changed their forecast for Thursday night, they've now flipped to say that it will be overcast shortly after sundown. So, about a 50/50 split, either total overcast or clear all night depending upon who you believe. Last night was completely overcast.



#27 Eloy

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:44 PM

Im in Perris, that put's me some 40mi inland.

 

Clear night last night  6/26/2019

Clear night 6/25/2019   Took the DOB out and had a pretty good Neptune and Saturn.

 

I hope to take it out today or tomorrow.  If I can I'll share if it was overcast or not.

 

 

EO



#28 Tom K

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:25 PM

Im in Perris, that put's me some 40mi inland.

 

Clear night last night  6/26/2019

Clear night 6/25/2019   Took the DOB out and had a pretty good Neptune and Saturn.

 

I hope to take it out today or tomorrow.  If I can I'll share if it was overcast or not.

 

 

EO

My guess is that the hills that separate Temecula from San Diego County would block a lot of the marine layer, which is usually under 2000 feet deep or so.   I am at 800 feet so I am in the soup a LOT.   Tonight looks promising - right now.   We will see how long that holds out....


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#29 james7ca

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:54 PM

Well, kind of looks like low, marine layer overcast again tonight (contrary to many of the forecasts that are still saying perfectly clear all nigh long). If I had to guess I'd say that tonight will be clear to partly cloudy early on followed by complete overcast by 11PM (i.e. a "good" night in terms of recent weather).

 

Plus, this weekend is supposed to have high and midlevel clouds from a tropical storm that is passing from the south and then out into the Pacific. Following that the local TV weather says possible monsoon weather in early July which often means high clouds over southern California at night from the blow-off of thunderstorms down in Mexico and over in Arizona (another condition that gives clear weather during the day but lots of clouds at night). I know that the latter was a real problem a few years ago even for the normally clear mountain and desert areas.

 

Interestingly enough, the Nighttime Microphysics Imagery for Southern California website is showing cloud formation right over my location again tonight, while other areas in southern California are mostly clear (except right along the coast which is already overcast even before sunset).

 

Also, the Astrospheric Weather website that was recommended recently is showing 100% clear skies until midday tomorrow. But, I notice that their cloud map doesn't seem to be showing the marine layer which is a major problem, that's possible because it looks like they use the same forecast data as the often maligned Clear Dark Sky site.

 

[UPDATE]

9:30PM, not quite astronomical dusk and it is already 50 percent or more overcast. So, scratch another night. Tom (in Escondido), the low clouds are likely heading your way. It looks like there is already a big patch of clouds to your south.

 

The Astrospheric site is now predicting some clouds by 5AM, only eight hours in error but that's kind of significant. Maybe they are confusing UTC with local. wink.gif

[/UPDATE]


Edited by james7ca, 27 June 2019 - 11:46 PM.


#30 Ballyhoo

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:58 AM

dreadful. second night in a row I tore down after forecast got it wrong. 



#31 Tom K

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:05 AM

I got in 11 three minute images of M8 before the marine layer got me at 11:35 in Escondido.  Grrrrr


Edited by Tom K, 28 June 2019 - 02:31 AM.


#32 james7ca

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 03:03 AM

Yep, here is the Nighttime Microphysics Imagery for Southern California at about 12:30am, showing coastal San Diego county under the clouds (as usual, looks like LA is better). I've outlined the county boarders. The clouds seem to extend inland anywhere from 8 to 20 miles. This would have been a very good night for the mountains.

 

By the way, a few days ago pfile recommended the above website and I've been impressed at how well it shows the low clouds along the coast. Normally at night you can't see low clouds and fog in the satellite imagery, but this seems to show it well. Very useful to see the current state of the cloud cover to give you a better idea of what is coming (or going).

 

The Astrospheric website is still showing 0% cloud cover.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Nighttime Microphysics Imagery for Southern California San Diego.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 28 June 2019 - 03:16 AM.


#33 Starman1

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 08:30 AM

I was under that puff you see over LA. Still am at 6:30am.


Edited by Starman1, 28 June 2019 - 08:30 AM.


#34 james7ca

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:15 AM

Well, it looks like it MIGHT have been clear tonight in San Diego except for the effects of tropical storm Alvin. Most of California is "crystal" except for good old San Diego county.



#35 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 07:48 AM

Well, it looks like it MIGHT have been clear tonight in San Diego except for the effects of tropical storm Alvin. Most of California is "crystal" except for good old San Diego county.

 

My friend in Palm Desert said it was clouded over there. Boulevard was supposed to be clouded out but at sunset there were only low clouds on the Western and eastern horizons and I was able to observe effectively until about 1 am when the high clouds arrived.

 

This morning it's clouded over.

 

Jon



#36 Tom K

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 12:46 AM

Last night the marine layer held out long enough for me to get 25 subs on M8.   I would have set SGP to do more but I figured that I would not even get through 25 but to my surprise this morning the entire sequence was completed!

 

I just did a quick process of the images and the result was not all that bad.   

 

https://astrob.in/412487/0/

 

Looking forward to some clear nights ahead!

 

Tom



#37 james7ca

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:28 AM

Tom, glad you got some imaging time. However, did you blink the subs to see if they were affected by high clouds? I suspect they were since I don't live that far from you and at my location there were high clouds during the early and mid evening times (before the marine layer arrived). In fact, it was a weird looking sky, since at times very few if any stars were visible and yet the sky seems fairly dark and cloud free.



#38 Tom K

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:14 PM

My daughter is home from college this weekend, so I only got a few minutes to batch process my subs.   I just used the blink tool in PI and there were definitely some high clouds out there - it is cool - and somewhat sad - to watch on the blink tool.

 

My guess is that about half were affected - it is amazing how PI takes some of that stuff out!



#39 james7ca

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

It should be clear Sunday night (June 30) near to the coast of San Diego county, at least for a few hours after sunset. Looks like tropical storm Alvin kind of blew in a different weather pattern.

 

Most weather forecasts agree, it's clear and quite warm right now (7:15pm) and even Hotel del Coronadoo has perfectly clear skies.

 

[UPDATE]

I guess I may have spoken too soon, clouds are already reforming over north San Diego county and will probably spread from there. I guess this confirms that I live in the cloudiest location in all of Southern California smirk.gif . I've kind of suspected that since in past years I've often reported that it was cloudy for most of May and June when others in San Diego say that they've had many clear nights (yes, I'm looking at you Jon Isaacs, in "sunny" south county wink.gif ). This year, however, it seems that the rest of San Diego is getting a "taste" of what I've had over the last many years.

 

Also, an image from the Nighttime Microphysics Imagery for Southern California showing tonight's cloud formation over my area in north county. I guess there is some slight chance that the clouds will dissipate, but that doesn't happen very often at night. Once the marine layer arrives it generally doesn't go back until well after sunrise on the next day. In any case, I'm taking a chance to setup even though I can currently see low clouds to my west and south (as confirmed with the microphysics imagery).

[/UPDATE]

Attached Thumbnails

  • Clouds Cover San Diego County June 30 2019.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 30 June 2019 - 11:05 PM.


#40 Tom K

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:29 PM

Thanks James - it is clear here now in Escondido.   I am hoping to get some imaging in tonight if nothing else so I cam drop out the subs that were compromised by high clouds the other night!



#41 james7ca

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:47 PM

Thanks James - it is clear here now in Escondido.   I am hoping to get some imaging in tonight if nothing else so I cam drop out the subs that were compromised by high clouds the other night!

Yes, looks like the coastal clouds over north county are moving off to the south (according to microphysics imagery), although I can see another small patch of clouds forming right now just to our north and out in the Pacific.



#42 james7ca

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

Monday, July 1. Here come the marine-layer clouds, just for San Diego county (as usual).

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  • Nighttime Microphysics Imagery for Southern California San Diego July 1.jpg


#43 Tom K

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 09:11 AM

I had an SGP sequence that ran until after 2AM with no marine layer yet here in Escondido.   It was here when I woke up but amazingly it did not kill my sequence as it normally does!



#44 james7ca

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 10:25 PM

Tom, in my location it was mostly overcast even before dark and it stayed that way all night.

 

And, no surprise, below you can see the marine layer coming in again for San Diego county (no, this is not from Monday, it's for today, July 2).

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  • San Diego County July 2 2019.jpg


#45 Tom K

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 11:32 PM

I guess I am just far enough north and east to avoid that stuff which seems to be coming from the south.   My friend Paul in Valley Center was clear all night last night.   I am going to give it a go tonight...



#46 jimandlaura26

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 12:10 AM

Today was one of the first actual warm days here in northern San Diego County and I thougt for sure I might be able to get a few hours in before the dang marine layer came in an got me.   Clear Dark Sky's website showed my location as clear until close to 3 AM - I was getting ready to put a few more hours on M51 and even set up SGP to pick up M8 after midnight.   I got everything ready and set SGP to start the sequence just after astronomical twilight - I was good to go!

 

Of course, when I went out at 9:15 to check in on the startup of the sequence, the dang marine layer was already on top of me!   I never got a guide star, never started the focus routine - nothing!   Grrrr....

 

I am not sure what the experience of others in So Cal has been, but this seems to me to have been an absurdly cold and cloudy sring followed by a very cool and cloudy start to summer.   I actually went in my pool for a bit this afternoon, but this is the latest in the year that I have ever started using the pool here.  Normally, we get the June Gloom, but I am 15 miles inland, so we are usually spared the worst of it.   This year, no dice - all clouds and no heat.  

 

This is the type of thing that makes me want to move into the local mountains or New Mexico - anywhere that this dang marine layer does not ruin a nice sunny day by rolling in a blotting out the night sky.

 

I feel better now - needed to vent a bit....

In a word... Yes. Got out a few nights ago and viewed for about hour and a half until marine layer terminated observing. Used a SV-80S f/6 apo on Discmounts DM-4, where quick set up and tear down is enabled. But hey, I spent many years in Northern VA where things were MUCH worse. So I'm grateful. Observing to your south in Rancho Bernardo, east of 15 and a stone's throw away from Poway - observing east toward mountains provides reasonable views. Also, daytime solar viewing is similarly better - though the solar minimum means things are pretty quiet for many months. Clear Skies!

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Edited by jimandlaura26, 03 July 2019 - 12:20 AM.


#47 james7ca

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 12:49 AM

I guess I am just far enough north and east to avoid that stuff which seems to be coming from the south.   My friend Paul in Valley Center was clear all night last night.   I am going to give it a go tonight...

I suspect that Escondido gets about two or three times the clear, night-time hours as I do nearer to the coast. Escondido really isn't coastal San Diego county, it's more the inland valley climate. There is also the San Marcos mountains between the coast and Escondido, with elevations up to 1200 feet.

 

As for the marine layer, at my location and at 10PM it was about 20% overcast, hazy, and with heavy cloud banks visible to the south and west. It will probably be 100% overcast by 11PM. Palomar Airport reported broken clouds and haze at 9:53pm, which usually is a death knell for areas a few miles inland in north county.

 

The marine layer really doesn't originate or move up from the south (normally), it forms right off of the San Diego county coast and then moves toward the east and sometimes with a southward component. It's probably worse from north county down to about Del Mar (IMO). I think the cause is some differences in the ocean temperatures and also the prevailing Channel Island eddy (winds and current) that pushes the clouds into the coastal areas of San Diego.

 

If you've never looked at the Microphysics Imagery for Souther California then you are missing a very valuable reference for the nighttime weather. The animation tonight even shows a little circulation from the Channel Island eddy and the only area of San Diego that currently has clouds is just over me and to the north. However, it looks like extreme north county and southern Orange county are getting the heaviest cloud cover tonight. You can also see the effect that Santa Catalina Island has on the cloud formation over the ocean just west of San Diego.

 

Below is a copy of the Microphysics Imagery for July 2 at 10:41pm to which I've added the location of several cities.

Attached Thumbnails

  • San Diego County July 2 2019 10-41pm.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 03 July 2019 - 01:46 AM.

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#48 Starman1

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:28 AM

That's a great site.

I'm up in the LA area under the really thick layer of Marine clouds up this way.

Here is a current image in an easier-to-see format:

 

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#49 Tom K

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:58 AM

In my experience in Escondido and north county, the marine layer will come up the various river valleys over the evening.   It creeps right up the 78 corridor into Escondido leaving the Double Peak area near Twin Oaks Valley Road to the south and the Merriman Mountain area to the north clear.   Those are those ~1200 ft peaks.   I am at 800 feet so it usually gets to me, but again, last night I was imaging all the way through 1 AM - could not believe my luck again.

 

I work near the 15/76 interchange and often sink into the marine layer as I come down Old Highway 395 heading north to the office.   It can be pretty cool to see visually on the way to work.

 

I used to get better views to my east when I moved here 20 years ago, but hundreds of acres of what used to be avocados is now houses with friggin LED street lights.   Escondido used to be only on low pressure sodium but have switched over the years.   Trying to save money I guess.   I have actually complained to my local city councilman about several that were installed incorrectly without proper shielding and gotten them corrected.   It seems that the building and public works inspectors just don't focus on astronomers much.  I think I may have a chat with the Mayor, who I know through the Rotary, about getting them to focus on darks skies again.   The Palomar observatory is featurede on the City seal after all!



#50 james7ca

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 10:55 PM

That's a great site.

I'm up in the LA area under the really thick layer of Marine clouds up this way.

Here is a current image in an easier-to-see format:

Was that image taken after sunrise? If so it doesn’t look like something taken by the nighttime microphysics website.

 

As for tonight, July 3, it’s already overcast at sundown, so no need to check the satellite images.




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