Los Angeles, where it is

Index


Introduction



The climate of Los Angeles is temperate, characterized by very mild, relatively rainy winters and hot, sunny summers.
It is similar to the Mediterranean climate but it's even milder. In fact, the city is located at a lower latitude than the Mediterranean coasts, so it has milder winters; on the other hand, it is located on the Pacific coast, along which a cool current flows (ie the California Current); therefore, summer is a bit cooler than in the Mediterranean Sea. The city has therefore a really pleasant climate, also because it is kissed by the sun most of the year.
There are, however, different microclimates depending on area, since the city covers a wide surface, it is situated on the coast, but it's also surrounded by hills and mountains.
The city is quite polluted, and pollutants can accumulate in the air especially in the dry season, from May to October.
In addition to the possible waves of bad weather, which occur mainly from December to March, a nuisance in the climate of Los Angeles is represented by the Santa Ana, a hot, dry wind from the northeast, which blows for a few days from the deserts of California and Arizona, after passing over the mountains, from which it descends. This wind is more likely to occur in autumn and winter, but it can blow all year round. When it blows, the temperature can go above 25 °C (77 °F), and sometimes up to 30 °C (86 °F), in the middle of winter, while it can go above 35 °C (95 °F), and sometimes up to 40 °C (104 °F), from from April to October. Heat waves due to this wind occur more often in September, followed by August, July and October; the highest temperature was recorded on September 27, 2010, when the thermometer measured 45 °C (113 °F) in the city center and 41 °C (106 °F) at the airport, which is located on the coast. The San Fernando Valley, north-west of the city, being closed between the hills, is even hotter, so much so that the highest records are about 46/47 °C (115/117 °F). Sometimes, the Santa Ana winds can spread fires.

Los Angeles, map of the metropolitan area by Google

Winter, from December to March, is a very mild and spring-like season. There are many pleasant and sunny days, with daytime temperatures around 20 °C (68 °F). However, after the rare cold air outbreaks, the night temperature can approach freezing (0 °C or 32 °F). The rains occur in short periods of bad weather, and are generally not abundant, although, as mentioned, there can sometimes be waves of bad weather more intense than usual. However, to the north of the city, the San Gabriel Mountains, whose highest peak is Mount San Antonio, 3,067 meters (10,062 feet) high, are quite often covered with snow, and offer a nice view on the horizon.
As mentioned, the Santa Ana can sometimes blow also in winter, and it's able to the temperature to about 25 °C (77 °F) or above.

Spring, from April to June, is pleasantly warm and sunny. In June, and sometimes in May, the phenomenon called "June gloom" can occur in the morning: this is a kind of cloudy and damp weather, sometimes foggy, accompanied by a sort of drizzle, which is formed on the sea and later can invade the mainland and therefore the area of Los Angeles. The phenomenon is due to the contrast between the sea, which is still cold, and the mainland, which is getting increasingly warmer.

Summer, from July to September, is hot and sunny. In summer, the ocean acts like a kind of natural air conditioner: on the coast, for example in Santa Monica, at the Los Angeles International Airport or in Long Beach, daytime temperatures are quite cool, and remain around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F); they are higher, but they don't reach 30 °C (86 °F), in the central districts of the city (see the table above), although they slightly exceed this value in the areas located further from the sea (see Pasadena), not to mention the eastern areas, which are closer to the desert. On the hills overlooking the city, there is often scorching heat, even though the temperature at sea level is lower, and on the coast, as mentioned, it remains around 25 °C (77 °F). On the other hand, if you decide to take a trip to the desert, remember that the temperature gradually increases, and already in San Bernardino, highs are normally around 35/36 °C (95/97 °F), while in Palm Springs, far away from Los Angeles, it's scorchingly hot, with highs normally around 40/42 °C (104/108 °F). However, in the city proper of Los Angeles, the temperature in summer is acceptable, except when the Santa Ana blows: in these cases, all these differences are reduced, and it's hot everywhere.
Sometimes, the June gloom can also occur in July and August, especially in La Niña years, when the sea is colder than usual.

Autumn, in October and November, is very mild or pleasantly warm; in November, daytime temperatures are still around 23 °C (73 °F). In this season, mild and sunny days alternate with hot days, when the annoying Santa Ana blows, but there can also be the first periods of bad weather.

The city



Here are the average temperatures of downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)9101112141618181715119
Max (°C)202021232426282928262320
Min (°F)485052545761646463595248
Max (°F)686870737579828482797368

Rainfall in Los Angeles is quite scarce, amounting to about 375 millimeters (15 inches) per year, and has a similar pattern to that of the Mediterranean climate, but with a drier autumn, since most of the rain falls from December to March, while in summer, it almost never rains. The wettest month is February. For the brevity of the rainy season, the climate is actually semi-arid. Sometimes, however, some waves of bad weather can be more intense than usual, and there may be heavy rains, from December to April. Here is the average precipitation.
Los Angeles - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)8095602572017152560377
Prec.(in)3.13.72.410.30.1000.30.612.414.8
Days66631100123534

The amount of sunshine in Los Angeles is really great, since there are 3,200 hours of sunshine per year. The sky is often clear in all seasons, but even more so in summer. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Los Angeles - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours789109912119877

In Disneyland, located in Anaheim, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from the sea, to the south-east of downtown Los Angeles, the climate is practically the same as in the city center.

Los Angeles

The coast



Along the coast (see Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Long Beach), the summer temperatures are particularly mild. Here are the average temperatures recorded at the Los Angeles International Airport.
LAX - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)9101112141618181715129
Max (°C)181818192021232424222018
Min (°F)485052545761646463595448
Max (°F)646464666870737575726864

The temperature of the sea near Los Angeles is very cool to swim in, if not cold, even in summer, since it reaches at most 19 °C (65 °F) in August and September. In June, it is still around 16 °C (61 °F). However, given the nice weather, you can sunbathe for a long period, from June to September, but often also in April, May and October. Here are the average sea temperatures.
Los Angeles - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)141414141516181919181715
Temp (°F)575757575961646666646359

Best Time


The best time to visit Los Angeles is spring, from April to June, in fact, it is a mild or pleasantly warm and sunny period, and with a very low risk of hot days. The summer, from July to September, is usually a good period as well, in fact, it is hot but not too much (at least if you stay in the city and don't move towards the desert) and sunny; occasionally, however, there can be hot days, when the Santa Ana blows. Autumn, in October and November, is generally a good season as well, although the Santa Ana is quite common, and the first rains can fall, especially in November.

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