KSAN Fog Ops

Let the games begin. They are departing 27.
Loc 27 is out of the question, and they are missing on the ILS 9.
3 apparent diversions so far…
I can’t seem to paste a pic of the map here…

And summer is still a couple of months away. Does it seem like there is more winter fog on the coast this year?


Nah, it’s about right down here…When the ‘marine layer’ kicks out a santa ana-type condition, it almost always arrives as fog for a few hours, then it’ll lift to maybe 1000’ or so.

OK, I’m watching from 8000 miles away but I don’t remember seeing this much fog in the reports for this time of the year before. Summer for sure just not during the winter.


The southern california coastal airports are more likely to have LIFR due to fog during the times of the year when the sea water temperatures and the air temperatures match up the closest.

During the wintertime, the low temps at night are below the sea water temp, and the generally unstable airmasses from passing fronts, etc. tend to prevent radiation type fog. During the summer, the lows at night are generally above the sea water temp, which also tends to inhibit fog and the famous marine layer in Southern California.

The fog events we have had recently, as posted above, have been the first day after a Santa Ana wind event, as the high pressure that caused it moves off the the east. A weak onshore flow develops, the nights are clear, and the temperature drops to the sea water temperature. The dew points rise to the sea water temp also. The relatively high pressure keeps all this moist air very close to the surface, and you get some nice zero-zero mornings.

I’ve been to KSAN about 20 times and once, during Winter 2005, we encountered thick fog and had to divert to Palm Springs to refuel and sit. Our MD-80 couldn’t circle KSAN for an extra hour before landing. We landed on Rwy 9 and the pilot was landing blind about 1/3 of the way down the runway and he hit max brakes and reverse and I almost slid off my seat. We turned off at the end of the runway. If fog visibility was measured in the negatives it would of been -10 miles. I was hard to see the airport gate lights when we were slowing down on the runway. Really crazy. And that was the first time I have ever landed on Runway 9 @ KSAN.