What is with this June Gloom? Is everyone experiencing it or is it just us Californians? It seems as though it is never going away and I’m trying not to let it get me down. It comes at the most odd time of the year to me, right when you are truly enjoying the amazing spring sunshine and getting ready for those hot summer days it hits. It’s crazy! It’s like all of a sudden you are pulling out pieces from your winter wardrobe that you just packed away once spring hit. It definitely does not make sense to keep wearing the fabulous sandals and flip flops you just bought when it’s sprinkling outside. I just don’t get it, so I decided to do some research on this June Gloom and find out the facts.
According to Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia) June Gloom (also May Gray) is a California term for a weather pattern that results in overcast skies with mild temperatures during the late spring and early summer. The condition is prevalent in many parts of the world where marine stratus or stratocumulus clouds are common, particularly off the western coasts of continents-especially off Peru, Namibia, Western Australia, and California. Such cloud systems are persistent year-round off the coast, yet in certain seasons they blow ashore and create the gloomy “May Gray” effect on land. The June Gloom phenomenon has also been known to occur during the early fall in California.
Early mornings during this period are typically foggy, with an occasional drizzle. The fog turns to low clouds by late morning and early afternoon. Finally, by late afternoon, solar heating is sufficient to evaporate the clouds. Often the overcast will be evaporated (“burned off”) quickly inland, but will linger along the immediate coast.
In California, the number of days from May to June that are gloomy vary from year to year. Cooler ocean temperatures, associated with La Nina, usually foretell a grayer period.
June Gloom has been reported by some Californians to bring on symptoms consistent with seasonal affective disorder. It is often cited as a time of depression. Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, repeatedly, year after year? The US National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety. There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapies with bright lights, anti-depression medication, ionized-air administration, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.
So if this June Gloom has got you down, you are not alone. This weather just seems to make me feel like hibernating. Thank goodness it will only be here for a short time then onto our sunshine filled summer we go.