Jon Edelbrock | Community Services Director and Chief Lifeguard
Summer 2018, to date, has been a historic one to remember. Year to year, each summer feels busier than the previous producing both similarities and unique challenges along the way. No matter the challenge, the visitors flock to our small town and our City staff work their best to meet the demands.
The most noteworthy story in the beach areas of southern California this summer were the record-breaking sea surface temperatures in July and August. While June began very average in the mid-60s, by June 18th the temperature rose to, by June standards, a balmy 70 degrees. The trend continued through the month and has persisted through the summer resulting in our highest single day and highest average temperatures since 1965 for both July and August. The average sea surface temperature for July was over 75 degrees – nearly 7 degrees higher than the 7 year average. We experienced our historical single day high of 82 degrees in early August – the highest reading in department history besting the previous high in both July and August of this year. Our previous record high prior to this summer was 81 degrees in August of 2008. A combination of moderate wind patterns, sunny warm weather, and the synergy between the two, has aided in warming the surface temperatures and sustaining the highs for most of the summer.
A by-product of the warm water and hot weather has been a busy beach. Sand levels were largely in flux until mid-July making for spring-like conditions with inshore holes and rip currents up and down the beach. The combined results produced our highest June rescue totals in over ten years with 316. July remained busy through the middle of the month with conditions becoming safer and more predictable late July and into August.
Parking in the beach area was challenging to come by nearly every day this summer. Our dedicated staff proved up to the challenge and resulted in better coverage, shorter call response time, increased special event coverage, fewer complaints and citation protests, and weekend enforcement patrols until 10:00 pm. Patrons increasingly used the fifty additional parking spaces added on the east side of Camino Del Mar in 2017. Use of Pay and Display parking on both the south side of Via de la Valle and the Trailhead lot on San Dieguito Drive increased significantly.
The second reading of an ordinance regulating dogs on the beach is set for the September City Council meeting. The new rules would allow unrestrained dogs between 25th and 29th Streets before 8:00 am the day after Labor Day through June 15th and allow off-leash dogs between 29th Street and the Solana Beach border before 8:00 am year-round. Stay tuned for further public outreach prior to the final approval.
We trust the community has enjoyed the summer season as much as our City staff. Staff strives to do their best to meet the needs of the demanding season and look forward to the challenges the fall has to offer. We hope to see you down at the beach.