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Sandy Loam

Warmest winter city/region in southern California

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Sandy Loam

Hello.  I am not in California.  I am located over here in Florida, but I am trying to figure out which parts of southern California stay the warmest in winter.  I'm not talking about coastal areas that never get cold at night, where the daily high temperatures might be 65 F at best.   I'm talking about places that might be much colder at night than the coast, but where the warm up is so dramatic by day that by 10:00 or 10:30 am, it's already semi-warm outside.  When I look at weather patterns, the only place which really fits this bill in southern California is the strip of warm air that runs from the Mexico border diagonally up the valley surrounding the Salton Sea, perhaps ending at Palm Springs, CA.  I had read somewhere that Riverside CA had a similar climate, but my cursory web-searching indicates that Riverside has highs only in the 60s (not including cold snaps).   By contrast, Palm Springs, CA/Palm Desert, CA and anywhere down the Salton Sea valley to El Centro, CA seems to have highs which are often in the low 70s all winter long, except during cold snaps, of course.  In that climate zone, 67 to 72 Fahrenheit seems to be rather customary all winter long in the afternoon, like southwestern Arizona along the Colorado river and from Yuma up to Phoenix.  My experience in those parts of Arizona is that you don't notice the 40 degrees at night because it's already 65 degrees by 10:00 am, and it's 69 F by noon.  Where can I find that in southern California?   

Is there a single town within a 1.5 hour radius of Los Angeles that has this same type of climate?   I see valleys like the Menifee/Temecula/Moreno Valley strip inland, but do they really get hot quickly on winter days?  My quick look at climate data shows that this valley doesn't get very hot in winter, although I could be wrong.  I'm seeing highs in the 50s and 60s in that valley, but I have only looked at winter 2019 data.   Are there other winter hot spots in southern California which are not as far from away LA as Palm Springs?

Thanks.                 

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Josue Diaz

You'd have better luck finding inland desert climates like those closer to San Diego. The ocean influences the weather all the way through to the mountain ranges which follow the general outline shown here (the San Jacinto Mountains and the San Gabriel Mts to the north and the ranges east of San Diego.) Obviously, the closer you are to the coast, the more moderate the temps are - cool days. The mountain pass between Riverside and Palm Springs is often where the ocean influence stops. I've driven this pass many times, and it is not uncommon to see cloudiness and overcast conditions linger right at the mountain pass stretching toward the coast - in summer or winter. 

There are mature Bismarkia in Lake Elsinore, and a mature Cocos nucifera in Corona. That area is probably the closest you'll get to a true, desert climate closer to LA. Although, it may take more than 1.5 hours to get to LA from here in rush hour traffic :P 

Capture.PNG.d618a01d81d8a69f8c62974ba765a330.PNG

Edited by Josue Diaz
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Sandy Loam

Interesting.  Thanks for posting that map, Josue.  For curiosity 's sake, I checked out some of the temperatures at midnight last night (Pacific time) to see how cold it would get when all the heat leaves the desert overnight. The results were surprising.  It was 62 Fahrenheit in Los Angeles.  Riverside and Hemet were similar, but the rest of that valley between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Anna Mountains was colder.  However, Palm Springs was 72 degrees Fahrenheit at the same time!   So, Los Angeles 62, Menifee 55, Palm Springs 72 all at the same time, late at night.  You would think that the desert would lose all of its heat and be the coldest spot at midnight, but instead it wasn't.  It was the warmest of all, although perhaps that was a coincidence.

I haven't experimented with daytime temperatures yet, but I assume that, again, the Palm Springs area might win out in daytime heat too.  For March 31/April 1, I suppose that's normal, isn't it?

 

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GottmitAlex

What about Malibu?

I've read it's the warmest spot year round in California. 11a? 

But hey, if a coconut can succesfully grow in a Cali 9b zone (Corona: snow, hail, yearly freeze, 25-28f in wintertime) then anything is possible.

 

Edited by GottmitAlex
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Sandy Loam

I didn't know that about Malibu. Whenever I have been there, it seems so cold and windy near the ocean, even in July. 

I also didn't know that Corona was so cold!  It is certainly more affordable to buy a house there than Malibu though.

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Sandy Loam

For curiosity's sake, I am glancing at temperatures right now (10:00 am).  It is 64 F in Los Angeles, meanwhile in that valley between the Santa Anna Mountains and the San Jacinto mountains I see 58 degrees in Menifee, CA and 57 degrees in Hemet, CA.   Just slightly north of Hemet, I see Beaumont, CA showing 51 degrees F, perhaps because it is where you start leaving that valley and reach some higher elevation (??) Meanwhile, over in Indio, CA, I see 71 degrees Fahrenheit and 71 also in Palm Springs.  Wow, those are some wide temperature differences depending where you are.   The more I look, the more I'm wondering if the Palm Springs area is simply warmer in winter overall, at least within a two hour radius of LA.  However, I'm not in California and am just looking from a distance at figures online.  You Southern Californians know your climate best.     

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Palm crazy

I think Fallbrook, CA is pretty mild year round. If you like living in the sticks? Only rains 26 days a year.  The coldest month is February with an average h/l  66f/50f.  For beaches, San Clemente is my favorite spot, but much colder at night than Fallbrook.  January 67f/45f. 

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Palm crazy said:

I think Fallbrook, CA is pretty mild year round. If you like living in the sticks? Only rains 26 days a year.  The coldest month is February with an average h/l  66f/50f.  For beaches, San Clemente is my favorite spot, but much colder at night than Fallbrook.  January 67f/45f. 

Not sure i'd consider Fallbrook "out in the sticks" since it is only 6-8 miles north of Bonsall, which is only 12 miles in from the coast at Oceanside.   Alpine, Descanso, Campo?  Yea, they're out there a bit. Regardless, i'd take living in Fallbrook, or somewhere else just on the outskirts, over a few blocks from the Ocean.. More land, generally less expensive ( though not dirt cheap ) and less congested.. More room.  Came across a listing sometime ago up that way that was for 49 acres for what i'd consider pretty reasonable $ for California.  Other listings i have looked over across San Diego county also surprised me with how ...not.. crazy expensive they were.. by CA. standards.

As far as climate, the Low Desert areas, esp around Palm Springs, and close to the bigger L.A. Heat Island will usually be the warmest spots overall during the winters  ..though, like anywhere else, that can ( and will ) vary from year to year.. 

Keep in mind, the desert spots get HOT all summer, sometimes hotter than here in Phoenix ..and they often get far less summer rain..  and i'd read about the effects of dust that can get stirred up off the Salton Sea / lower Imperial Valley before even considering any place out there.. especially if it is allowed to dry up any more than it has already..  Not a good situ. at all..

High Desert and inland Valleys where cold air drains / collects, or where the heat island effect is smaller/ non existent will normally run cooler.. though, again, that can vary a bit year to year.  Would carefully analyze both Plant Maps' Zone map of the region, the Heat zone map of the region ( i access it from Plant Maps ), and Sunset's breakdown of the zones across Southern CA. 

Since you're looking 10, 15, 20 years ahead ( unless that time frame has changed?? from what you'd discussed in prior posts ) it's likely many factors you see now will have changed, possibly dramatically in that time frame.

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Hammer
On 3/28/2019 at 8:59 PM, Sandy Loam said:

Hello.  I am not in California.  I am located over here in Florida, but I am trying to figure out which parts of southern California stay the warmest in winter.  I'm not talking about coastal areas that never get cold at night, where the daily high temperatures might be 65 F at best.   I'm talking about places that might be much colder at night than the coast, but where the warm up is so dramatic by day that by 10:00 or 10:30 am, it's already semi-warm outside.  When I look at weather patterns, the only place which really fits this bill in southern California is the strip of warm air that runs from the Mexico border diagonally up the valley surrounding the Salton Sea, perhaps ending at Palm Springs, CA.  I had read somewhere that Riverside CA had a similar climate, but my cursory web-searching indicates that Riverside has highs only in the 60s (not including cold snaps).   By contrast, Palm Springs, CA/Palm Desert, CA and anywhere down the Salton Sea valley to El Centro, CA seems to have highs which are often in the low 70s all winter long, except during cold snaps, of course.  In that climate zone, 67 to 72 Fahrenheit seems to be rather customary all winter long in the afternoon, like southwestern Arizona along the Colorado river and from Yuma up to Phoenix.  My experience in those parts of Arizona is that you don't notice the 40 degrees at night because it's already 65 degrees by 10:00 am, and it's 69 F by noon.  Where can I find that in southern California?   

Is there a single town within a 1.5 hour radius of Los Angeles that has this same type of climate?   I see valleys like the Menifee/Temecula/Moreno Valley strip inland, but do they really get hot quickly on winter days?  My quick look at climate data shows that this valley doesn't get very hot in winter, although I could be wrong.  I'm seeing highs in the 50s and 60s in that valley, but I have only looked at winter 2019 data.   Are there other winter hot spots in southern California which are not as far from away LA as Palm Springs?

Thanks.                 

Your research highlights that challenge we have with growing many varieties of palms here in SoCal. 

Palm Springs really is the only place somewhat close to LA in winter where you can get some of that day time warming.  Of course summers there are really really intense. 

California winters are by and large long, cool, wet grinds. Even away from the coast.  Maybe especially away from the coast.  Since night time temperatures can get colder inland.

Here in Orange County, you will still have a fair amount of ocean influence wherever you go.   Elevation and topography are really important for gaining those few extra degrees. 

Locally here I would say the warmest spots are elevated areas in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills.   Not sure but maybe Anaheim Hills too.

You thinking about buying?  Or just curious?

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Sandy Loam

Pondering my options --- not sure yet -- thinking about buying a place and renting it for the next twenty years (winter residence only) -- toying with areas near LA and near Phoenix (lots of sun, acceptably warm in winter, and both have enough culture to be of interest, with LA winning in that category).

Thanks for all the input everyone.  Please don't hesitate to add more insight.

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GottmitAlex

East Chula Vista. (East of the 805 freeway)

Hopefully a property with a southern view.  I would imagine close to Eastlake. 

It does get cool there. But it warms up quickly throughout the day.

The only problem is the more south you go in Cali, the more expensive it gets.

San Diego is expensive. But from what I have read, it has a more welcoming climate for tropicals than anyehere else in California..

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Darold Petty

A friend of mine lives in the Morro Hills district, south-west of 'downtown' Fallbrook ,and east of Camp Pendleton.  His microclimate is really good, the neighborhood is former avocado growing land.   It seems to be a 'Goldilocks' spot, just inland enough to avoid the morning marine overcast, but not inland enough for temperate zone winter cold.

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Darold Petty said:

A friend of mine lives in the Morro Hills district, south-west of 'downtown' Fallbrook ,and east of Camp Pendleton.  His microclimate is really good, the neighborhood is former avocado growing land.   It seems to be a 'Goldilocks' spot, just inland enough to avoid the morning marine overcast, but not inland enough for temperate zone winter cold.

Would agree,

  While a little skeptical of their interpretation ( might lean a tad warmer than other zone maps ), Plant Maps.com lists a good chunk of Fallbrook as 10B, with most areas of North County, west of the 15, listed as 10A / high 9B.

Also stumbled across a picture of someones succulent collection up in Fallbrook  via an Instagram post shared by Solana Succulents.    All i can say is if i can get my Aloe Hurcules to look half as good as the ones pictured, regardless of what part of the area i end up in,     ..i'm gonna be a 'real happy camper..    The ones in the picture are stunning..   How cool that would be seeing something like that as you pull into your driveway everyday..   Would love to visit this place in person.

Singer Jason Mraz has his experimental Coffee plantation located not too far west of there as well.

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Pete in Paradise Hills
19 hours ago, Palm crazy said:

I think Fallbrook, CA is pretty mild year round. If you like living in the sticks? Only rains 26 days a year.  The coldest month is February with an average h/l  66f/50f.  For beaches, San Clemente is my favorite spot, but much colder at night than Fallbrook.  January 67f/45f. 

Fallbrook got snow a few years back...

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Jubaea_James760

Palm Springs area probably wins as far as quickest warm up durning winter. Might also check out Chino Hills. I was driving one night from San Diego to Bakersfield about 2 months ago on a cold winter night,  I was monitoring the temperature as I drove through several citys. It was pretty interesting.  Fallbrook through Menifee was 51f, 52f. As soon as I approached Lake Elsinore it warmed up to 60- 62f. Then cooled a bit as I drove past Temescal Canyon. Warmed again as a got into Corona about 61f, took the 91 fwy east then 71 north and right there it hit 65-66f driving into Chino Hills.  

Also San Fernando Valley gets pretty warm durning winter.  Maybe Pacoima area or Canoga Park area. At one point in my life if you'd ask me where I would want to live to grow palm trees I would of said Pasadena,  LA Canada / Flintridge. Today, San Diego area lol! LA is to conjested for me... I need my space :D

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Sandy Loam

Tonight at midnight, Pacific time, I couldn't resist:

Santa Monica and Venice: 66 F

West Hollywood:   65 F

los Angeles:  64 F

Redlands, CA:  58 F

Menifee, CA:  48 F

 

It is unbelievable that you can drive across a city and experience almost a twenty degree temperature span without going anywhere especially cold, e.g. driving up a snowcapped mountain-top.

 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Palm springs is the desert 100%.  It looks like a miniature phoenix. 

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Sandy Loam

Although winter is over now, a couple of months ago I was looking at heat maps in that southern California and southern Arizona region.  You would often see three bands of heat projecting northward from the Sea of Cortez in winter.  The first was a diagonal strip of heat up to El Centro, CA and across/around the Salton Sea up to Palm Springs, but ending somewhere just north of Palm Springs.  The second heat band travelled up to Yuma AZ and along the Colorado River up to roughly Lake Havasu City, AZ.  The third heat band seemed to go up to Yuma and continue travelling along the Gila River bed up to Phoenix.  All three of these heat bands were in valleys.  From the map, it looked as though the lowest-lying areas trapped the heat (surrounded by higher ground) and therefore benefited from warm air streaming off the Sea of Cortez..... Or least I am just guessing that is what was going on. (??)

 

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