heat wave

Forget the Wetsuits! The Water's Too Warm

San Diego's heat wave is heating up the surf

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79.5 degrees.

That’s how warm the water was off the Scripps Pier on Sunday, tying a record set in 2018, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“Well, it’s been really hot,” said Chris Clark who had just ridden several waves with his 5-year-old son holding on to his back. “We’ve been having a heat wave right now, so maybe that’s part of it.”

“The water temperature yesterday was so warm, I actually got in,” said NBC 7 morning meteorologist Sheena Parveen. "Normally, I don’t. I was paddle-boarding yesterday and the water felt amazing.”

Since July, the temperatures off some parts of the coast and in Mission Bay have jumped almost 20 degrees, Parveen said.

“Normally this time of the year, water temperatures are in the upper-60s,” Parveen said. “Right now, we’re in the upper-70s.”

All those black dots you see on the surface of the Pacific Ocean are people who are happier than I am because they’re having fun is some crazy warm water. NBC 7 at 4 & 6.

Posted by Joe Little on Monday, August 24, 2020

“The bay is going to stay warm,” Parveen added. “I don’t see the bay getting colder because of the air temperature.”

Parveen explained the current heat wave is warming our water earlier than usual. The National Weather Service said the heat wave is blocking winds that would otherwise be blowing the warmed water away, bringing up cold water. It’s a process called upwelling, but that’s not happening.

“We’re used to warm water,” said Clark who shapes surfboards with his Shaper Studios business. “Yeah, but this is abnormally warm.”

“When you have shallow bodies of water like the bay -- any bay -- it’s going to heat up faster, and it’s going to stay hot longer,” Parveen concluded. “It’s probably going to last as long as the heat lasts.”

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