After a rough winter here in Southern California, the June Gloom is hitting harder than ever before. With a winter and spring that brought us record rainfall, and cloudy skies, there is nothing that Southern Californians want more than a little sun. June Gloom, a term for overcast skies and cool weather that generally plagues SoCal in June, is a real thing for all of us who are just awaiting the summer weather.
But what is the reasoning behind the strange fog that mystifies newcomers and visitors? And how can you get over your June Gloom? We have those answers and more below!
June Gloom’s recipe is simple: cold Pacific Ocean water, an ocean current known as the California Current, and a high pressure formation known as the Pacific High. The cold water creates a situation where the air near the water's surface is colder than the air above it. This creates an inversion. The Pacific High pushes air downward, compressing it and warming it. Together, this forms a stable inversion air that can hold a layer of cloud near the water's surface.
And cloud is probably the best description of this phenomenon. Anyone who has witnessed it knows that the gloom is more than just a fog over the water. It is thick and usually prevents you from enjoying a morning out by the ocean.
So how do you beat a fog that lasts from May Gray through Fogust? Well, one of the best ways to get through June Gloom is to go on a hike.
There are 3 great hiking trails not too far away that can give you some relief from the clouds. One trail is also one of the best hikes in the entire region: Sandstone Peak. At 3,114 ft., the tallest peak in the range can be reached on a sixish-mile loop (depending on the trail you choose). You may potentially be caught in the clouds the whole time, or you may hike above them just as you reach the summit. Once you reach the top and get above the clouds, the view is simply breath taking.
For more reliable blue skies, head to the San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The mountains are higher than the Santa Monica Mountain range, so you have a better chance of beating the fog. Mount Wilson offers more ways to reach its summit than any other peak in Southern California. Plus, you can either hike the 5,712 foot summit, or you can drive your air conditioned car up and enjoy the cloudless view.
The last mountain we recommend is for the more adventurous hiker. Icehouse Canyon stretches four miles from the trailhead at just under 5,000 ft. to Icehouse Saddle at 7,555 ft. The trail wraps along a gorgeous year-round creek shaded by pines.
No matter what you choose to do, these trails are your best bet for breaking through the June Gloom and finding yourself a little bit of sunlight.