Bay Area ocean waters running warm

Ocean water temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area are above their historical summertime average, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday.

Meteorologist Charles Bell said the ocean temperature at the Monterey Bay buoy should be 56 degrees at this time of year. It touched 64 degrees Sunday.

Temperatures closer to San Francisco are at least five degrees above normal, Bell said.

The biggest impact will be on coastal residents who will be warmer as land temperatures don’t drop as low as they would have, he said. Almost no one has air conditioning near the coast, he said.

Water at the beaches will be warmer too. Some people could go in without a wet suit, Bell said.

Water temperatures average 58 to 59 degrees in July and meteorologists will be monitoring ocean temperatures during the next 30 days.

Meteorologists are wondering whether temperatures will meet or exceed 68 degrees, the record set on July 23 last year, Bell said:

“Will we hit 68 degrees again or 70?”

Bell said the rising water temperatures also mean fewer clouds along the coast, which means warmer and warmer days. The warmer days will impact coastal plants, which fog and lower temperatures benefit, Bell said.

Warmer days also increase the risk of Bay Area wildfires.