Unusually Cool Summer So Far for Coastal California

August 8, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
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Already having one of the coolest summers of its climatological record, California will begin the week with more unusually cool weather.

Coastal Southern California will have high temperatures mostly in the 60s for the next two to three days.

Farther north, highs in the 60s and even upper 50s will hold along and near the coast in central and northern California, including the Bay area.

Already, as of Saturday, average temperature in San Diego since the start of summer has been a full 5 degrees below normal. The first week of August, alone, has been cooler than usual by nearly 6 degrees.

It's been nearly as cool in Santa Barbara.

Los Angeles, while not as unusual as its southern neighbor, has nonetheless been significantly cool since spring with the first seven days of August dipping 6.5 degrees below normal at LAX airport.

In northern California, one cool spot, San Jose, has been cooler than usual by 2.9 degrees since summer began in June.

This begs the question: what is cooling the Pacific Coast even as much of the nation swelters in an unusually hot summer?

The answer lies with the water beneath those cooling sea breezes, where the sea surface has cooled significantly compared to normal. The cooling is happening in parallel with the onset of El Niño across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Sweltering heat will build anew over the nation's midsection through at least midweek as temperatures near 100 F in the Ohio, mid-Mississippi and lower Missouri valleys.

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