San Diego/ Weather & Environment
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Published on May 19, 2024
San Diego Braces for Persistent Cool, Windy Weather with High Rip Currents Along CoastsSource: MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

San Diego residents can expect more of the same weather patterns they’ve been seeing recently, with the National Weather Service (NWS) predicting breezy and slightly cooler than average temperatures continuing into the week. According to NWS forecasts, gusts ranging between 25 to 40 MPH are common inland, with highs staying near average near the coast and up to 10 degrees below average inland.

For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, NWS warns of a "persistent trough over the West Coast" that will dominate local weather. Winds are expected to pick up in the afternoon and evening, particularly through mountain passes, with gusts perhaps reaching 45-50 MPH. Low clouds will also persist, with the chance of some drizzle today and tomorrow morning. A weak area of low pressure will deepen the trough on Monday, leading to what could be the "coolest and windiest conditions overall," with wind speeds potentially soaring over 55 MPH in areas like the San Gorgonio Pass, which has roughly a 70-80% chance of experiencing such gusts.

While the weekend may be breezy, the marine conditions remain friendly for seafarers. No hazardous conditions are expected through Thursday, per the National Weather Service San Diego CA branch. Clouds will “retreat back to the coast each afternoon,” making for plenty of sun during the day.

However, swimmers and surfers should exercise caution. The NWS has issued a Beach Hazards Statement effective through Monday evening for the potential of high rip currents and "above normal surf of 3-5 ft with locally higher sets on exposed SW facing beaches." These conditions are caused by a series of 2-3 ft southwest swells at 16-18 seconds, which are expected to build today and continue through Tuesday. Surfers might enjoy the waves, but the high risk of rip currents at all beaches remains a concern.

As for the prolonged weather outlook, the trough is likely to persist, with rising heights leading to warmer conditions and less wind over inland regions from Tuesday onward. The ensemble cluster model analysis anticipates potential weakening of the troughing pattern as a ridge from Mexico begins to extend its influence over the southwestern U.S., suggesting a potential respite from the gusty conditions later in the week, according to the Area Forecast Discussion by the National Weather Service.