June Gloom got you down?

June Gloom got you down?

What’s up with this June Gloom? Is everyone experiencing it or just us Californians? It seems like she’s never going away and I’m trying not to let her get me down. It comes at the strangest time of the year for me, just when you’re really enjoying the amazing spring sunshine and getting ready for those hot summer days. It’s crazy! It’s like you’re suddenly pulling out pieces from your winter wardrobe that you put away once spring came around. It definitely doesn’t make sense to keep wearing those fabulous sandals and flip-flops you just bought when it’s raining 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 cloudy skies with mild temperatures in 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 the continents, especially off Peru, Namibia, Western Australia, and California. Such cloud systems are persistent year-round off the coast, but in certain seasons they blow inshore and create the gloomy “May Grey” effect on land. The June Gloom phenomenon has also been known to occur in early fall in California.

The early morning hours during this period are usually cloudy, with an occasional drizzle. Fog turns to low clouds in the late morning and early afternoon. Finally, in the late afternoon, the solar heat is enough to evaporate the clouds. Often the cloud cover will evaporate (“burn”) quickly inland but remain along the immediate coast.

In California, the number of days from May to June that are gloomy varies from year to year. Cooler ocean temperatures, associated with La Niña, generally herald a grayer period.

Some Californians have reported that June Gloom causes 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 for 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 severe mood swing when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have low energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed.” Although the symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” The condition in the summer is often known as reverse seasonal affective disorder and can also include increased anxiety. There are many different treatments for the classic (winterbased on seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with bright lights, antidepressant medication, ionized air administration, cognitive behavioral therapy, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.

So if this June Gloom has you down, you’re not alone. This weather seems to make me feel like I’m hibernating. Thank goodness she’ll only be here for a short time and then we’ll be off to our sunny summer.

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