Science & Tech Editor
Spring quarter at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) always signifies bright, warm days that encourage visits to the beach or strolling in downtown Santa Barbara. However, these past two months have been filled with chilly gloom. Throughout the months of April and May, there have been very few sunny days. This is disappointing to most UCSB students who eagerly look forward to the beginning of summer during the spring quarter. Unfortunately, it seems that all throughout California, the state is experiencing a “May Gray.”
A May Gray is exactly as the name suggests. During the end of spring into early summer, May Gray and another weather pattern called June Gloom dominate the somber skies. Due to the strong onshore flow, the marine layer stays in place, and the coasts tend to experience this weather trend more than the inland areas of California. Temperatures stay at around 60° here in Isla Vista (I.V.), and there has recently been the addition of strong winds. A few weeks ago, campus also experienced some nightly rain even after all the intense rainstorms during the winter quarter.
May Gray has thrown off some aspects of student life here at UCSB. For many students, finding an adequate outfit for the weather is difficult. During morning classes, the sky is gray with a slight chill in the air. In order to stay warm, students will wear varieties of clothing to keep out the cold. However, once it hits 12 p.m., the sun makes a short but impactful appearance. The once-chill air turns into a growing heat that make students regret wearing their thick hoodies. Not long after that, the need to wear a hoodie returns.
“I have cute summer clothes that I have saved for spring quarter but haven’t been able to use them. This weather just makes it harder to plan an outfit,” expressed fourth-year Marlene Gonzalez. “[Since] this is my last quarter here, I would have hoped for better weather.”
For many students, this has dampened their expectations for spring quarter activities. While the weather doesn’t mean that those activities can’t be done, the presence of the sun adds to the overall feeling of the Santa Barbara experience. Trips to the beach to sunbathe or take a dip in the ocean have been postponed for the day when it’s finally sunny. Graduation pictures have darkened gray backgrounds rather than vibrant ones. The ocean has become a somber reflection of its weather instead of its normal bright blue. However, UCSB students have not let this damper their quarter and still continue to engage in trips to the Santa Ynez mountains or rounds of beach volleyball.
So the question is, how long is this May Gray going to last? It depends on the region, and in Santa Barbara, next week is projected to have some sunny days without an overcast and a slight increase in temperatures. Sometimes it can last for months, even reaching August, but that is a rare case. Hopefully May Gray makes a quick exit without the possibility of June Gloom taking over.