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Memorial Day weekend in Southern California is looking gloomy. How long will this ‘May gray’ linger?

A lake with a fountain under gray skies.
“May gray” skies provide a gloomy background over the Los Angeles basin in a view from Echo Park toward downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)
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Another cloudy, cool weekend is on tap for Southern California, with a strengthening marine layer expected to drop temperatures and possibly bring drizzles by the end of the week.

“We’re definitely in that time of year, the ‘May gray’/‘June gloom’ season,” said Richard Thompson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Anyone headed to the beach to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend should bring a sweatshirt, he said.

A strong onshore flow is driving clouds inland in the evenings and mornings, keeping the marine layer very deep and broad — pushing it even into Los Angeles County’s inland valleys by Thursday and Friday.

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While Tuesday is shaping up to see a bit more sunshine than the past few days, Thompson said, the rays aren’t expected to last long.

“It looks like it’s going to get more gloomy tomorrow and continue through the weekend,” Thompson said Tuesday morning. It’s a “continuation of the pattern we’ve seen the last few days.”

Temperatures Wednesday and Thursday will reach the upper 80s across Southern California, but another cold, wet storm is on tap for the weekend.

April 10, 2024

On Thursday and into the weekend, the deep marine layer isn’t expected to burn off each day until late in the afternoon — if at all — while stretching into the Santa Clarita Valley and L.A. County foothills, Thompson said. That pattern will bring slightly cooler, below-normal temperatures, with highs remaining in the mid to upper 60s for most of the region.

There’s even a potential for patchy or light drizzling beginning Thursday, with the chance of rain increasing into the weekend, Thompson said.

But by Monday, weather officials said a slight shift should begin, with the low clouds and fog no longer lingering into the afternoon.

“It will be getting nicer for Memorial Day itself, but the first half of the weekend will be [on the] gloomier side,” said Brian Adams, a National Weather Service meteorologist in San Diego.

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“Once we get through the cool weekend here, it does look like things will start to warm up early next week,” Thompson said.

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