As we move toward the spring, Northern Hemisphere equinox March 20 we are gaining the most amount of daylight of the year, about three minutes added per day at our latitude.
It’s certainly enjoyable to have the sun wake you in the morning, but that’s all about to change as we experience a bit of a shock to our circadian cycles.
At 2 a.m. today, our clocks should have been moved one hour forward for daylight saving time. This will push back the time of sunrise and sunset one hour.
Benjamin Franklin, our country’s first meteorologist, suggested daylight saving time in 1784, but it wasn’t until March 1918 that President Woodrow Wilson signed a law establishing it.
Most states observe daylight saving time, but Arizona and Hawaii do not. Until recently, other states also did not observe it.
Evelyn Cole of Arroyo Grande told me “when I was a student at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the state did not change the clocks every spring and fall, but the city of Lexington did.
“To obey the state and yet accommodate the residents of Lexington, the university rescheduled its classes back an hour in the fall and forward in the spring. Rampant confusion resulted.”
The reason most states implement daylight saving time is to make better use of the daylight in the evenings.
The extra hour of daylight in the evening is said to give folks more social time with friends and family and participate in outdoor sports such as baseball and soccer.
Daylight Saving Time is also considered as a means to save energy. However, many studies disagree about the energy savings, and while some may show a positive outcome, others do not.
This week’s forecast
A Catalina Eddy in the Southern California Bight will produce areas of marine low clouds this morning.
A weakening cold front will approach our area later today with increasing clouds and a few sprinkles and light rain showers tonight into Monday morning. Many areas in the North County will probably not receive any rain.
Temperatures will be mild, with daytime highs in the 60s and overnight lows in the 40s with extensive cloud cover.
Partly cloudy and mild weather is forecast Monday afternoon into Tuesday.
Another weak weather system will move into northern San Luis Obispo County on Wednesday morning and should spread a few light rain showers across the Central Coast.
This moisture will originate from subtropical latitudes and will allow snow levels to climb into the 6,000- to 8,000-foot range or possibly higher. Look for increasing northwesterly winds and partly cloudy weather Wednesday afternoon.
It appears that a cooler air mass could filter across the state Thursday as a weak low-pressure system makes its way down the coast. It should pass our area Friday with rain.
Surf and sea report
Friday’s tsunami (seismic sea wave) event produced a 6.3-foot surge at about 9:21 a.m. and a 6.6-foot surge at 11:25 a.m. at Port San Luis.
This is the largest seismic sea wave event ever recorded at the port.
The next largest event occurred during March 1964 after the Great Alaska Earthquake. This magnitude-9.2 earthquake produced a 5.2-foot tsunami at Port San Luis.
Today’s 5- to 7-foot northwesterly (290-degree deep-water) swell (with an 11- to 15-second period) will remain at this height and period through Monday morning.
A 974-millibar Gulf of Alaska low-pressure system will produce a 6- to 8-foot northwesterly (290-degree deep-water) swell (with a 16- to 18-second period) along the coast Monday afternoon, increasing to 10 to 12 feet (with a 14- to 16-second period) Monday night into Tuesday morning.
This swell will decrease to 8 to 10 feet Tuesday afternoon and night, further decreasing to 6 to 8 feet by Wednesday morning.
A tightly wound 971-millibar storm south of the Aleutian Islands will produce a 10- to 12-foot northwesterly (285-degree deep-water) swell (with an 18- to 20-second period) Wednesday night, peaking along our coastline at 11 to 13 feet Thursday morning. This swell will decrease Thursday afternoon.
Look for a very long-period west-northwesterly swell March 21 and 22.
Seawater temperatures will range between 50 and 52 degrees through Friday.
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John Lindsey is a media relations representative for PG&E. He is also a local weather expert and has lived along the Central Coast for nearly 25 years. To subscribe to his daily weather forecast or ask him a question, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.