Offshore flow keeping La Jolla in cool zone

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

As other parts of San Diego County are reporting wildly fluctuating temperatures today, La Jolla is at the low end of that extreme.

“It was 74 degrees at the mouth of Mission Bay Channel and lifeguard Mike Gilmore at La Jolla Shores said it was 71 degrees there,” said Lt. Andy Lerum, San Diego lifeguard spokesman at 11:06 a.m. this morning.

Del Mar was reporting 82 at about the same time.

Don Whitlow, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s San Diego office in Rancho Bernardo said it was 108 degrees there and 108 degrees as well at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. (The Light’s website, which uses reports from, was reporting 107 degrees. It’s unclear which monitoring station the service uses for its local reading.)

Just before noon, the temperature at Birch Aquarium was reporting in at 80.6.

Whitlow said temperatures today are being driven by a weak offshore flow with a high-pressure center over the area which is keeping temperatures right along the coast much cooler than most of the rest of the county, most of which is experiencing extremely hot temperatures.

“Temperatures are lower right at the beach, in the low- to mid-70s,” Whitlow said. “But more than 1 mile further inland they can be 10 degrees or more hotter.”

Whitlow added temperature variation can be great this time of year in late September during the summer-fall transition.

“Historically, this is the time of year when we get these kinds of situations,” he said, adding “there will be record highs broken” today in parts of San Diego.

But that won’t happen at Lindbergh. “The high-temperature record for this date at Lindbergh Field is 104, and it’s not going to get there,” Whitlow said.

Surprisingly, added Whitlow, the offshore flow along the coast is having a moderating impact on temperatures in the eastern deserts. “The lower deserts are actually a little cooler because of the humidity,” he said.

The best news of all is the hot weather being experienced today is on its way out.

“The offshore flow is going to be shifting to the east tonight and it will be cooler tomorrow along the coast and not as hot inland,” Whitlow said. “There will be gradual cooling inland over the next several days.”