Many visitors comment on how cool it is here on the Monterey Peninsula.  Like Mark Twain is reported to have said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” and since San Francisco is close by, the same can be said of our area.

Our weather is cool during the summer for several reasons:

1.  Our ocean currents run from the Arctic Circle and (North to South) and our water temperature tends to be around 49 degrees to 55 degrees Farenheit.

In contrast, the Eastern seaboard of the United States experiences water currents flowing North from the Equator (South to North) with an added bonus of the warm water originating from the Gulf of Mexico known as the Gulf Stream.

2.  We have a deep underwater canyon that begins in the Monterey Bay (at Moss Landing and Carmel) and there is a lot more water depth than eyes on land can see.

To compare, the Eastern seaboard tends to be shallower and can heat up from the sun more quickly.

3.  Water currents and wind churn the water up from the depths to the surface, which causes cooler water to circulate up.  This makes for very happy marine life because the upwellings bring food closer to the surface.

Now you know why you don’t see Sea Lions and Otters frolicking on Florida beaches.

4.  The water’s cool water temperature and wind from the ocean makes the air cooler and creates a marine layer/low cloud ceiling.  When that cooler air blends with the warmer air temperature over land, fog is created.  Our marine layer usually evaporates from the sun after noon.

We hope this helps explain why our air is cool and why we rarely need air conditioning.  It also explains why you should always keep a jacket or sweater handy when you’re visiting the Monterey Peninsula.