California to have a mild, cool start to Memorial Day weekend, but warming trend will come

Huntington Beach, CA - May 22: Orlando M. of Huntington Beach, flies a kite amid a gusty breeze and sunny skies on a stretch of beach away from crowds anticipated on the Memorial Day weekend getaway at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach Wednesday, May 22, 2024. "The reason I'm doing it is because it's going to be crazy," Orlando said. I will probably staying home on Memorial Day. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A Huntington Beach resident flies a kite amid a gusty breeze and sunny skies on a stretch of Bolsa Chica State Beach on Wednesday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Often considered the unofficial kickoff for summer, Memorial Day weekend this year is unlikely to usher in sunny skies and hot temperatures to California's beaches as some may hope — but weather officials say a slight warming trend could bring some clear skies by Sunday and Monday.

Across much of the state, forecasts show a cool, cloudy start to the holiday weekend Friday and Saturday, with a chance for some patchy drizzles in the morning from a particularly deep marine layer, especially in Southern California.

But it's not all gloom, especially as the weekend progresses.

“We're heading in toward a warmer and sunnier pattern going into the weekend; Memorial Day Monday is looking to be the nicest," said Rose Schoenfeld, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard. “We’re going to trend upward with temperatures."

“By Memorial Day, temperatures are expected to be several degrees warmer,” especially compared to Friday and Saturday, Schoenfeld said. Southern California's deep marine layer — likely stretching to the inland foothills and valleys Saturday — will be weakening, and highs in the valleys will reach into the upper 70s by Monday. Downtown Los Angeles is forecast to hit the mid-70s, and some desert areas will reach into the 100s.

The Southland's beaches will warm slightly, however the marine layer will likely keep the coast overcast and temperatures slightly below average for this time of year.

“The beaches are expected to stay pretty cool," Schoenfeld said. There's always a chance that a beach or two will "patchily clear up" and allow the sun to peek through, but she said temperatures along the coast will remain in the 60s.

A similar marine layer across the Central Coast and Bay Area will keep temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s throughout most of the weekend, with a chance for some precipitation Saturday. The warmest day will also be Monday, when highs could reach into the upper 60s along the coast and into the 70s and 80s further inland.

The weekend's temperature turnaround will be most prevalent inland, where highs on Monday are expected to be about 10 degrees above Saturday's cooler-than-average temperatures. Across the Sacramento Valley and down through the Central Valley, temperatures are forecast Monday to reach into the low 90s.

There's a chance for some strong winds Friday across the Santa Barbara Coast, Antelope Valley and Central Valley, which could linger through Saturday, but otherwise the Golden State can expect a relatively calm weekend.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.