Catalina Island-Weather
33░22'.N - 118░22'W
Catalina Island, California USA

Weather:  Marine Weather Information is broadcast on NOAA weather radio channel 1 for Avalon and is availabe by phone at (805) 278-0760.   Good protection SW weather, okay during NW and SE if not above 20 knots which usually means Santa Anas.  Santa Anas are strong Northeast winds that develop over the deserts and pick up speed as they are pushed over the mountains and through the canyons and by the time they reach the flat waters of the channel between the Southern California coast and Catalina Island, can reach speeds up to 60 miles 

an hour and howl into the north side of the island, Avalon Harbor and the rest of the coves and anchorages up to the East end.  Not only can the winds be incredibly strong, they produce heavy swells and steep wind waves that crash into the island. The winds blow most often from November through February.  Most local sailors have their own tales to tell about weathering a Santa Ana blow, the best advice is to be aware of the weather and be ready to go home or at least, around to the protected side of the island if warranted.

Fog is another challenge to the crossing skipper and occurs when the air flows from the ocean onshore as a high pressure area lies off the coast and a low pressure area is over the California and Nevada inland deserts. As cool moisture is picked up from the ocean, the warmer air at the higher levels sinks, creating an inversion layer, trapping and condensing the moist air into fog and is particularly heavy during the night and early morning hours until the sun has warmed the low air and "melts" the fog.

The infamous "Catalina Eddy" is not a local at Luau Larry's. It is a result of a Pacific High that bends the air flow along the coast south of Point Conception a full 90 degrees south of Catalina Island and can make for a great ride home. Eddy takes a vacation in the winter, but can usually visit anytime during the rest of the year.

 

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