WHY IT'S CALLED "SUNNY" FORTUNA...
This part of Coastal Northern California is considered a Temperate Rain Forest. Those Giant Redwoods have thrived here for thousands of years. Even though the area is at almost the same latitude as Chicago, the influence from the Pacific Ocean warms its winter temperatures and cools its summer temperatures.
Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the North Coast really has only two seasons, the rainy season from November to April and the dry season the rest of the year. A simple explanation for the dry season is that from spring through fall, a giant bubble of air called the North Pacific High parks itself off the coast, deflecting the weather around it and allowing the North Coast to bask in sunshine. This bubble moves away during the winter, its protection goes away, and the storms come ashore.
...Fortuna is protected from that cold and persistent NW wind by that range of bluffs shown in the picture above. As well as raising the ambient temperature, the bluffs also offer protection from the ocean fogs so that residents can get a tan. This happy combination of factors allows the area to enjoy one of Northern California's finest horticultural climates. The sun shines through the thin fog overhead, and it's very much like living in a giant greenhouse.
FORTUNA TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL
THE REST OF THE STORY...
The last major snow in downtown Fortuna was probably in 1990, but the surrounding hills show snow every winter.
Because of the area's many microclimates, climate and rainfall can vary immensely. The town of Honeydew, located about twenty miles to the southwest and at the end of a box canyon facing the ocean, averages nearly four times as much precipitation as Fortuna, over twelve feet(!) of rainfall per year.