A: Melissa in Salinas asked, "Why doesn't it get really hot on the Central Coast like it does in other parts of the U.S.A., like Texas?"
Here is Cheif Meteorologist Norm Hoffmann with the answer.
The quick answer to your question is that we do occasionally get triple digit temperatures here on the Central Coast. Monterey, Santa Cruz and Salinas have record high temperatures from 104 in Monterey to 106 in Salinas. So we do hit those triple digit marks once in a while, usually in September.
So why so cool this year. The temperatures over the interior of California (in the Central Valley) reach into the 90s to sometimes over 100 degrees. Temperatures in the Southern Salinas Valley reach into the 90s to near 100 many days as well. That air is warm and rises in the afternoon and evening hours. The air from the coast moves inland to replace the rising air which results in lower pressure. We call that our normal air conditioning. That cools us off during the afternoon and evening hours.
The air is cool because it comes in from the Ocean. The ocean temperature is 55 to 60 degrees and the air moving across it and moving inland is not much warmer. So the bottom line it is our proximity to the ocean that keeps us cool here on the Central Coast, but with offshore flow it can get hot.
This year in particular has been cooler than normal with more fog and low clouds. That is because of many factors, but La Nina is one of them. It has forced a strong high pressure to remain over Texas and cooler air to reside here along the west coast. However it looks like our cool weather will continue for at least another week to 10 days.