Onshore Flow

Take your eyes off that bike for a minute and look closely at the golden grass in the background. Notice how it’s all leaning to the left? That’s what meteorologists call “onshore flow”. In other words, it’s cool, refreshing wind coming from the coast. Normally, we get very little onshore flow in August. As a matter of fact, it’s usually stinkin’ hot this time of year in this part of NorCal. Somehow, even though most of the country has been sweltering, we’ve had the mildest summer in memory. Just this morning, the weatherperson on the local news said we’ll be having lots of onshore flow for the remainder of the week. Those two words, uttered in the central valleys of California in the month of August, always bring a smile to this bike commuter’s face.

17 Responses to “Onshore Flow”

  • sb mike says:

    “mildest summer in memory”… I agree! it’s been down right cold here in the central coast. Sun started to come out this week and feels like summer is finally starting.

  • bongobike says:

    Lucky you! Yesterday the thermometer in my wife’s car read 107°F around 6:30 pm. There’s nothing but more infernal heat in the forecast for Austin. :(

  • Sharper says:

    It’s been great for this bike commuter, too, but not as great for this tomato fan.

    Maybe it’s cynicism, but I’m too busy waiting for the other shoe to drop to enjoy such a pleasant summer.

  • doug in seattle. says:

    I just checked — Sacramento is three degrees cooler than Seattle today. UNBELIEVABLE!

  • Alan says:


    Yeah, it’s weird. Can you say “climate change”?

  • Aaron says:

    I am so jealous of your weather.

  • Alan says:

    We’ve been fortunate this year. I’m guessing it’s a fluke and we’ll be back to our usual scorching summers by next year.

  • eddie f says:

    this weather is probably a godsend for those around Sacramento. we here in the eye of the golden gate in Berkeley have had way more than enough of said onshore flow. what happened to Summer?

  • Eddie says:

    Indeed! I vaguely recall images of a golden disk in a blue sky. The glow of onshore flow has its flip side along the coast.

  • Tim D. says:

    The heat finally broke here in MO. It was mercilessly hot and humid (temps. around 100 with heat indices hitting 115) for about two weeks here. The last two days it’s been highs in the Mid 80s and lows in the 60s. It’s nice not to be soaked in sweat for once!

  • D'Arcy says:

    Toronto has been hot hot hot and humid. However the coolest place to go is the bike path along side Lake Ontario. It’s always cooler riding there. Add to that the righteous feeling of cycling to work while moving past all the cars creeping along the adjoining boulevard.

  • Saddle Up says:

    Has summer started?

  • brad says:

    chico usually doesn’t get quite the cool down that sacramento gets, but this summer has been very pleasant.

  • Scott Wayland says:

    Cool, gray, damp coast! I just finished a two week tour from Sonoma county north of San Francisco to Ventura, and virtually every day was solid fog until about 1:30pm. Then, a couple of hours of sun, then the fog rolled in. A bit of a funk, really. Still, good riding!

  • Alan says:


    So sorry to hear about the fog on your tour. I keep telling people it seems as if we moved 50 miles west toward the coast; it sounds as if the coastline moved 50 miles out to sea! Strange, strange weather….

  • Nathan says:

    So much for onshore flow now! I hope it comes back soon, but for now it’s hot even at the coast — I can’t imagine what it’s like inland…

  • Alan says:


    It hit 99F here today. It’s supposed to roast tomorrow – they’re forecasting 106F. The bizarre thing is that the high for Saturday is supposed to be 77F. Strangest weather I can recall in NorCal…

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