The sunny days and blue skies San Diego has been enjoying this past week will last into the weekend, National Weather Service forecaster Dan Atkin said. The gorgeous weather is only proper for the beginning of summer, which officially starts at 3:11 p.m. Sunday, the longest day of the year.
Lifeguards at San Diego city and county beaches are gearing up for what will most likely be the biggest beach-going weekend so far this year, with the forecast for sunny days and the liberation this week of thousands of high school students for summer vacation.
"Our summer season actually started last Saturday, when we upped our staff to somewhere right around 170 people," San Diego City lifeguard Allison Sherwood said. "We do expect this weekend to be pretty crowded, because the high school kids are out and no longer studying for finals."
The only thing marring the picture-perfect weather will be a few late night and early morning low clouds along the coast from the seemingly ever-present marine layer, according to Atkin. These clouds are expected to clear out by mid-morning, however.
"Besides some minor fluctuations in the marine layer from day to day, there will be no major changes on into the weekend," he said. "Some of the clouds may be extending into the inland areas, but they should be clearing out quickly and we'll be seeing lots of afternoon sunshine, even at the beaches."
The pattern of mostly blue skies that began last weekend has been a welcome sight to San Diegans who have seen more than their fair share of gray the last month or two. The normal percentage of possible sunshine for May and June is 58% and 57% respectively, but May brought only 44% possible sunshine and up to last weekend June had had only 42% possible sunshine.
"The grayness is pretty normal for this time of year, but I think maybe the first half of the month was grayer than usual," Atkin said. "The blue skies that started last weekend might bring us up to normal levels for the month, though."
Temperatures have hovered around normal levels all week, too. The high at Lindbergh Field was 71 degrees on Thursday, the exact average for that date.
High temperatures at the beaches will be in the 69- to 74-degree range today through Sunday, with overnight lows in the upper 50s and low 60s.
Marshall said even though the surf is averaging just two to three feet, there are a lot of strong riptides and inexperienced swimmers should take extra precautions.
"There have been a fair number of rescues this last week, but not an alarming number by any means," Sherwood said. "I think the coldness (60-degree ocean temperature at some area beaches, though the average for all of San Diego is 64 degrees) is keeping a lot of people out of the water."
Inland areas will have highs between 78 and 86 all three days, with temperatures perhaps reaching 90 degrees in the hottest inland valleys. Lows will be in the 52- to 60-degree range in all inland areas through Sunday.
Mountains and deserts will continue to be mostly clear through Sunday, with some gusty winds expected in the afternoon and evening hours, especially in deserts. Mountain highs will range from 74 to 82 today through the weekend and lows will be between 44 to 52. Desert highs will be from 100 to 108 degrees, with overnight lows in the upper 60s.