California Weather And Climate Guide

California has a Mediterranean-type climate but California's climate varies widely, depending on latitude, elevation, and proximity to the coast. In this video learn where you can find snow in California and much more.

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Like many other world locations, the climate in California is a varied one, classified as Mediterranean. Temperatures depend on location within the country, as the Pacific Ocean is a key influence on weather. In fact, temperature variations between coastal and interior regions in winter are roughly 7°F, and in summer are approximately 25°F, with the inland areas having the warmer weather.

Temperatures in coastal locations such as San Francisco and Santa Monica in August, for example, fluctuate between 68°F and 75°F. However, moving inland to cities such as Burbank, we find temperatures of approximately 90°F at the same time. Death valley, California has held the highest temperature ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. In 1913 it was 134°F, and temperatures close to that are not infrequent in that area.

Northern California tends to have more precipitation than in the south of the state. Between 15 and 50 inches of rainfall is seen in the Northwestern region annually. The Redwood forests often receive over 100 inches of rain per year.

The Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range, and the Trinity Alps mountain ranges all receive snowfall in winter. In fact, California is home to ski resorts, such as Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta.

East of the Sierra Nevada is the state’s desert climate. The low deserts have hot temperatures in summer, while winters remain virtually without frost. Deserts with a higher elevation, such as the Mojave, have hot summers and cold winters.

In the spring or fall, hot and high winds blow towards Southern California. These winds, called the Santa Ana winds, cause unusual heat in the region, and are partly to blame for California’s infamous and fairly common wildfires.

California’s beautiful climate lends itself to beach bums and ski bunnies alike, and is therefore an ideal travel location for anyone.

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