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San Felipe - Archive of weather for July 2009.

 

 

 

Friday 31 July, 7 a.m. My readings are still going down (almost 9 degrees since Tuesday) but are expected to reverse again for the week-end, culminating Monday into a return to the hots. The high tide which was 20' on the 21st of July is now down to 12.8' with lows of 5.6', much safer for swimming. However that water is a bathtub of at least 95 degrees. Thank goodness for the soft breezes that come and go throughout each day. We keep our air-conditioners set at about 78 Fahrenheit or 25 Celsius continually and it works just fine. st (Max 96 F, Min 80 F, Humidity currently 30 %)

Thursday 30 July, 7 a.m. Another 4 degree drop in temperatures back down to our normal 100 degree readings. We expect this to hold steady for the next few days, maybe just a tad higher over the week-end. Lots of activity going on around town but you have to look for it. Any restaurant with good air-conditioning is full. Many are on summer hours but all hours seem to be covered. I still see many mexican laborers out there toiling away, heads covered and in long sleeve shirts. If you study their habits they know how to take their siesta (lunch and rest breaks) in the hottest part of the day. We should all take lessons. st (Max 100 F, Min 82 F, Humidity currently 30 %)

Wednesday 29 July, 7 a.m. We have a drop in our current temperature readings by about 3 degrees, enough to allow the excessive heat warnings to expire for this area. Our charts show readings of 116 F for the Heat Index. The Sea of Cortez is no relief, readings still about 95 F. The Electric Co is taking a beating with everyone using maximum Air Conditioners. But we are not alone. The entire south west of United States is scorching. I think we should go back to Show Lo, in Arizona where we finished part of our vacation just last week. st (Max 104 F, Min 82 F, Humidity currently 36 %)

Tuesday 28 July, 7 a.m. Temperatures will be very hot once again today. High pressure will remain most of this week. Excessive heat warnings remain so stay indoors if possible.
Mel and I have returned to Baja from our wonderful long vacation in the cool mountains of Utah to find our air-conditioning system is not working. So we will enjoy whatever cool breezes we get off of the water today. Incidentally, the water is about 90+ degrees also, more like a bathtub. One actually feels cooler as they exit the waves. Lets hope for better news by Thursday. st (Max 105 F, Min 87 F, Humidity currently 33 %)

Monday 27 July, 10 a.m. Excessive heat warnings are still in effect for the deserts of the southwest and for northern Baja. Currently we have a heat index equivalent to 123 F and all outdoor activity is hazardous. This condition should ease locally as the easterly winds develop and bring cool, moist, air onshore. A high pressure dome over Arizona is moving slowly south over our region and should bring drier air from the west but this is not necessarily a good sign. Better for us for the low pressure to re-establish over the northern Gulf. (TC)

Saturday 25 July, 11 a.m. Yesterday was quite moderate by our summer standards with pleasant 90 F temperatures and 50% humidities. Today is turning out to be just a little warmer but there are no unusual conditions on the horizon at this time. No tropical storms are forming in the Pacific and no excessive moisture is heading north. It looks as though we are in for a few days of relatively stable conditions ! (TC)

Friday 24 July, 10:15 a.m. It was quite overcast in San Felipe earlier this morning but the cloud is now breaking up and we should have a typically warm day. The moisture coming up the Gulf that we talked about yesterday has kept us relatively cool over the past 24 hours. Temperatures have hovered between 85 and 95 F for the most part. The downside has been the very high humidity overnight, with readings as high as 84% between midnight and dawn. Basically it makes it almost impossible to sleep without an air conditioner.

For several years before the full electricity came to my house, I would lie spreadeagled on the bed with a small fan blowing air over me. This works for a while but I would wake up at 4 a.m. feeling very cold and clammy. These days, I find the ideal temperature for the bedroom is 81 F with a relative humidity level of 60%. A single light cotton sheet is all that is needed for a covering. Similarly, the house is best kept at around 85F during the day to avoid big thermal shocks to the body when stepping outdoors. Many of our newer residents who decide to stay for the summer set their thermostats to levels that simulate US comfort conditions, say 76-78F. The results are unexpected. First you can get huge electricity bills (sometimes in excess of $800 dollars/month). The second effect is that if you keep your house below the average dewpoint temperature (typically also in the 75-78F range) you can expect to get moisture condensation and absorption in the walls and plaster of the structure. Hidden mildew is the enemy you may be fighting from then on. It is very important to open up the windows and air out the house completely for several days when the hot weather has passed by in early October to let the structure come back into equilibrium with the environment. (TC)

Thursday 23 July, 10 a.m. The flow of humid air up the Gulf from the south has increased overnight and we awoke to see clouds surrounding the peak of Machorro at the north end of town. This "fog" hovering over the peak is a sign that the air is so saturated that there could be leakage at any time. It is somewhat beneficial in that it keeps our peak temperatures a little cooler - we only reached 101F yesterday - but the combination of the temperature and the humidity (the heat index) is still a very uncomfortable 117 F at this time.

One aspect of this very hot weather and the intense sunshine that we get on the desert highways is that the stress on your vehicle tires is increased. Particularly in the regions where the road is new and paved with smooth black asphalt, the surface of the road becomes extremely hot. This is the time of year where you will see large pieces of tire tread, sometimes even the entire tire outer casing, lying on the road. Mostly, these pieces of tire come from the older trucks that are heavily laden going up and down the highway between San Felipe and Mexicali. The stress on the tires is extreme from the heavy load, the road surface temperature is extreme from the sun and something has to give - the rubber tread becomes unbonded from the metal "plys" in the casing. Usually, you can see these large obstacles in the roadway well in advance and can take evasive action. At night, however, the black tire fragments on a black road surface in a totally dark environment can come as a last-second surprise. That is why I always recommend that you not drive these roads after dark - especially on moonless nights.

Wednesday 22 July, 9:30 a.m. This heat is getting to our server and we had some problems overnight. However, I gave it a bag of ice cubes and it seems to be doing fine as of now. Nothing much new on the weather front, we are definitely in the summer doldrums with pretty repeatable highs and lows and winds and "feel-like" heat indices of 116 F. The storm buildup in the mountains during the afternoons is well typified by the following radar picture from yesterday:

You can see the area of rain showers (green) and the potential embedded thunderstorms (red) in the mountains between us and Ensenada. It is gully-washers from a big storm that run down the eastern slopes of the mountains and cause flooding on the Mexicali road. If you are driving, do not attempt to forge through floods that you may see crossing the road in the "zona de vados". Vehicles do get washed away and lives have been lost. Wait and let the torrent go past! (TC).

Tuesday 21 July, 9 a.m. More of the same for today. Quite warm and humid at breakfast time; 93F with 69% and a heat index of only 114F. There is a lot of moisture moving slowly up the Gulf towards the desert low pressure centered on the border with Arizona. The jet stream has moved north over the sub-Canadian states and this means that the high pressure over the four corners remains stubbornly in place. The net effect of this situation is that we get warm, sticky, weather in San Felipe while the desert cities to our north have miserable, life-threatening, high temperatures. Each afternoon, the thunderheads in the mountains to our west are becoming bigger and lasting longer. It is only a matter of time now before we get an afternoon downpour in our town. Nothing excessive, just a 5 minute cloudburst that will clean the air for us. You can bet that the roof repair people will be getting a lot of calls then. Very high astronomical tides again today. Unfortunately the Wednesday total eclipse of the sun will not be coming through San Felipe. (TC).

Monday 20 July, 1 p.m. High tide is almost here and the next three days will see exceptional high and low tides because of the New Moon tomorrow. The wind has also picked up very nicely (10-15 mph onshore) and the beaches are a mini-paradise. You could not ask for better conditions for a family vacation. In town at the office we are sweating away with 97 F and 50% RH but on the beach it is a much cooler 92F and 65% RH. (TC).

9:30 a.m. It almost rained yesterday afternoon. Thick, dark, clouds moved in from the west and covered town. You couldn't see the foothills for dust, or maybe rain, they were totally obscured by a curtain of something. The Doppler radar showed what looked like a downpour off the El Dorado coastline and there were some big lightning strikes. Today we woke up to mostly clear skies with intense heat and sunshine. At the present time, the heat index is an incredibly high 122F - dangerous for manual labor! This is definitely a day to stay in the shade, or preferebly the air conditioning. Unfortunately, the high pressure that is parked over the Four Corners region seems to be anchored in place and very little change is expected in the week ahead. Be very careful in crossing the deserts - this is no time to have to fix a flat tire.

Sunday 19 July, 9 a.m. Yesterday was another scortcher but today looks like it will be a few degrees cooler. In the deserts, temperatures are still likely to hover around 110F for the next few days until the high pressure dissipates, and there is still a possibility of afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains. There are no tropical cyclones developing in the Pacific as of this morning. This weekend is the "Mexicali by the Beach" celebration and a number of families have driven down to San Felipe to escape the hot weather; most people, however, prefer to drive over to Rosarito to enjoy the cool of the Pacific. I can't say that I blame them. (TC)

Saturday 18 July, 10 a.m. We had quite a windstorm last night just before midnight as a weather front moved through the area. Our weather station recorded gusts of 30 mph for about 20 minutes. The patio furniture was all over the place this morning and there is a lot of sand to be cleaned up. I expect we shall see lots of plastic bags caught in the trees and ocotillo plants along the highway.

This morning is partly cloudy (thank goodness!) but the hot weather continues. Our low temperature overnight was 89F and we are currently experiencing 101F with 28% RH. The people who will be really suffering are the residents of desert cities like El Centro and Mexicali where heat warnings for temperatures in the 115F range are being issued. I have had calls from friends in Mexicali to say that they are coming to San Felipe for the weekend to avoid the heat. As long as you are spending the weekend along the beach, where the temperatures at the water's edge are around 90F, you will have a great time. (TC)

Friday 17 July, 9 a.m. This morning is a complete change from yesterday. The heavy cloud is gone and the sun is beating down. Already it is 100F outside, though with very low relative humidity. The remnants of tropical storm Dolores will continue to flow over us but our weather picture today is dominated by the strong high pressure building over Arizona and Utah. For people in the desert southwest, the weekend could bring temperatures close to 120F. For us in San Felipe we will have hot early-morning temperatures till the ocean breeze picks up and brings us the cooler, moister, air. It should be a beautiful weekend along the beach and the advanced sunworshippers can look forward to plenty of ultraviolet tanning opportunities. (TC)

Thursday 16 July, 10 a.m. We woke to heavy cloud over San Felipe this morning but that is now thinning out and we have partly sunny skies as you can see from the webcam picture above. A stream of tropical moisture is heading over us from the Pacific storms and this mornings picture of Dolores shows just how extensive this is. It also shows red, blotchy, areas over the northern Gulf - signs of possible embedded thunderstorms.

Radar is showing rain further down the peninsular, around Gonzaga, and in our mountains to the west. However, it is unlikely we will see any rain in San Felipe today. The outlook for the weekend is for tropical beach weather, high humidity with temperatures in the 90's - almost identical to Miami ! Come here and have a Florida vacation at a fraction of the cost! (TC)

Wednesday 15 July, 11 a.m. The east wind and tropical cloud is with us this morning and it is keeping things cooler but more humid. The heat index is only 102F at this hour, though I can tell you that I was trying to move an old window air conditioner in the garden and after 30 minutes of "hard labor" I am soaked with sweat and totally worn out. Time to lie down for a pre-siesta.

Out in the Pacific we have a large new tropical storm, Dolores, which is likely to send a lot of moisture northeast over Baja and the desert southwest during the week. Hurricane Carlos continues to move towards Hawaii. I expect that our weather for the week will be dominated by what is happening in the Pacific - more moisture, a chance of afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains, and spectacular storms over Sonora. (TC).

10 p.m. Wednesday - Tropical Storm Dolores (above) is a couple of thousand miles southwest of San Felipe, but you can see her huge moisture field spinning off towards Arizona and New Mexico and filling the Gulf of California. An intense patch of red over mainland Mexico indicates that there are probably heavy rains and thunderstorms happening there tonight.

Tuesday 14 July, 4:30 p.m. Afternoon conditions are ideal for swimming: 92F and 64% RH, easterly breezes at 10 mph. High tide approaching.

9:30 a.m. Continued very hot and sticky with 92 F in the shade and 75% RH. Our Davis weather station is issuing messages about current conditions having a "dangerously high heat index of 115F" - but it is just a computerized device and cannot appreciate the beauty and tranquility that go along with the summer conditions here. As is usual, it is not the heat, it is the humidity that makes life so difficult. High tropical cloud is now forming over the northern Gulf and this is a blessing for us in reducing the intensity of the sun, it gives the air conditioning a chance to catch up. As I look at the mountains at the north end of the bay, I can see cloud forming around their peaks as the humidity in the air is forced up from sea level and starts to condense. It could almost rain there!

Surprisingly, I am getting quite a few enquiries from Southern Californians and Nevadans who are thinking of taking a vacation and coming down to San Felipe in August. Although I don't expect this to develop into a rush like Easter Week, it could be a boon to the economy of our sleepy little town. I will post a few notes later today as guidance for summer visitors on the different areas of the town and where they might want to look for their ideal vacation. (TC)

Monday 13 July, 1 p.m. At the office in town we have a temperature of 97 F and 55% RH. The mountains at the north end of the Malecon, our friends during the months of the winter winds, are now blocking the breeze, making conditions extremely trying. The bay beach, by comparison, is a much more pleasant 92 in the shade with a northeast breeze at 6 mph.

9 a.m. Hot and very sticky - the dew point is close to 80F !!. If you drive into town and open the car door, your glasses immediately fog up. Excessive heat warnings have been issued for the deserts to the north. The air conditioners are having a hard time coping with all the condensation from the high humidity. This is definitely a morning to take things easy and wait for the breezes to come up before venturing outdoors. (TC)

Sunday 12 July, 10 a.m. For the coming week, the forecast is for the deserts of the southwest USA and northwest Mexico to be under an extreme heat advisory. In the El Centro-Mexicali region, temperatures are expected to hover around 115F so be extra cautious while driving - make sure that your vehicle is in good condition and especially check that your tires are sound and correctly inflated before starting a long journey. Buy a couple of gallon containers of water and have a beach umbrella with you for shade in case you need to change a tire on the road. In San Felipe this morning, the skies are clear and the sun is beating down with a fierce intensity. The heat index is currently showing 111F and the tide is out. It is a good time to relax indoors and read the Sunday newspapers while waiting for the wind to pick up and bring some relief to the heat. Out in the Pacific, Carlos has now been upgraded to a hurricane and its track will continue to take it west towards Hawaii. (TC)

Saturday 11 July, 10 a.m. Continued hot and humid with the "feel-like" heat index at 111F at this hour. However, it does look beautiful out on the beach with occasional puffy cumulus clouds drifting over town and the broad expanse of beach at low tide. The breeze should kick in soon and that will make the weather a whole lot more pleasant. Out in the Pacific, a new tropical storm, Carlos, is set to become a hurricane and appears headed for the Hawaiian islands at this time. A thermal low pressure region is developing over the northern Gulf, common at this time of year, and will suck more tropical moisture up from the south. I expect we will see big cumulus clouds develop to the east this afternoon and possible lightning storms visible tonight over the Sonora coastline. Just an ideal day for relaxing and doing nothing at all. (TC)

Friday 10 July, 10:30 a.m. Hot and humid. The heat index is already at 107F so don't do any unnecessary exercise; definitely not golfing weather. The remnants of what was tropical storm Blanca are sending moisture over our region from the Pacific side of Baja. Some high cloud is coming and that should help to cut down on the sun's intensity. Meanwhile the electricity meter is spinning away as the cooling systems try to keep up with the high humidity. Condensing this moisture in the air is what takes the major part of the electricity. When the air is dry, I can cool the house comfortably with a demand of around 3 kW during daylight hours - less than a dollar per hour. During humid conditions that demand doubles and is present both day and night. (TC)

Thursday 9 July, 9 a.m. A very similar start to the day to yesterday. We expect to stay in the 90's most of the day and will be lucky to cool below 80 tonight as high pressure to our north continues to build. It should be a toasty weekend. (TC)

Wednesday 8 July, 11 a.m. Hump day, with a heat index of 105F at 11 o'clock in the morning. Just not worth going outside until the east wind comes up. The weather service expects strong warming for the upcoming weekend so get your air conditioners ready. Tropical storm Blanca is dissipating and no threat to Baja.(TC)

Tuesday 7 July, 10 a.m. A quiet morning in San Felipe. The beaches are deserted and the town is recovering from the excitement of last weekend's holiday, the fishing tournament and the national elections. I'll try to get some news about these events up today. Meanwhile, tropical storm Blanca has formed about 750 km. off the tip of Baja. I expect that this storm will dissipate by the end of this week but as it falls apart considerable amounts of moisture will be spun off and could bring us additional high humidity in the next several days.(TC).

Monday 6 July, Noon. Continued hot and very humid. Air conditioners are streaming with water - put a bucket underneath to catch the overflow and use it on your plants.(TC).

Sunday 5 July, Noon. Steady northeast breezes are keeping conditions moderate today as high pressure builds over Arizona. After all of yesterday's hot dogs and beer this is definitely a time to relax and take it easy. The border crossings back to California are already busy as people head home. Expect 1-2 hour delays this afternoon.(TC).

Saturday 4 July, American Independence Day, 10:30 a.m. Well, we only made it to 103 degrees yesterday even though I thought we would go higher. Anyway, it is a much cooler morning and very pleasant on the beach. There is even a swell from the southeast on the water so you could almost do some baby surfing stunts. The banana boats are out and there are people walking their dogs on the bay beaches. Sunshades are popping up along the water's edge. Town is filling up and I expect that this will be a good weekend for our local merchants to make some money before the town settles down for the summer slumber. Don't forget that Sunday is election day here but that will not stop the alcohol sales in the restaurants and bars. Enjoy! (TC).

Friday 3 July , 1 p.m. Yea!! A new record temperature for the year!! 103 degrees and rising.

11 a.m. The thermometer has climbed steadily since dawn and is now just touching the 100 degree mark, fortunately the humidity has plunged to 30% but it is still toasty. The tide is coming in and already there are people out on the water splashing around and enjoying themselves. This Sunday, elections are being held in Mexico. In much of the country there is a prohibition on the sale of alcohol ( the Ley Seca) but here in San Felipe we are exempt. Bars, restaurants and liquor stores will be functioning normally - in fact they should be doing very well in this heatwave. (TC)

Thursday 2 July , 4 p.m. A beautiful, semi-tropical, afternoon in San Felipe. An occasional soul strolls down the beach along the wide expanse of virgin sand left by the falling tide. There is some high cloud passing over to the north of town with a steady easterly breeze keeping us in the high 80's. It is humid, 70%, but this combination of sun, cloud, wind and moisture is perfect. It has been like this since noon. I expect that in an hour or so, the wind will switch to the south and the temperature will rise. That is the time for a siesta. No storms on the horizon - it will be a superb weekend.

11 a.m. Around 8 a.m. this morning, the breeze picked up from the east and has been sweeping the very moist air from over the gulf onshore. The humidity is incredible at the moment (87%) and we can see condensation clouds hovering around the mountains at the north end of the bay. Fortunately the temperature is relatively low at 83F but the combination still gives a "feel-like" heat index in the mid-90's. We expect this humid weather to continue for a couple of days until a dryer, southwesterly flow of air moves in over the weekend. For beachgoers, it is great weather. After all, you are going to get wet playing in the water so the humidity is no big deal. If you are driving down for the holiday weekend, watch out for signs of thunderstorms in the deserts as they can give rise to local flash floods in the arroyos. Buy your tickets for the Rockodile and Beachcomber parties for the weekend - see the clickable banner on our home page for more information. (TC)

Wednesday 1 July , 11 a.m. Another hot and very humid morning. Light northeasterly breezes are keeping the temperature in check but it is not a day for any hard physical exertion. Perhaps the best thing to do is laze under a palapa with a good book or take an air mattress out and float around on the rising tide. (TC)

 

 

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