Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego (2023)

Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego (1)

Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego

Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego (2)

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in August 2018. It was revised and updated in December 2019.

Southern California is known for beautiful, sunny, warm weather. People from other parts of the country appreciate the fact that it never snows in San Diego, and even in the middle of winter, the La Jolla weather can still be perfect for a beach day. We love it, but even so, the heat has us worried. Recent years have seen record breaking conditions out in the water.

So what, the water temperature and weather in San Diego are just a bit warmer?

Yes, but in some unusual ways. It’s not uncommon to see San Diego weather averages in the 80’s around the coast and up towards 100 further inland during the summer, but recent temperatures here have gone far beyond what is normal, with serious consequences. The heat is doing more than raising your energy bill—it’s helping bring the ocean temperature to dangerously high levels.

Our friends at Scripps Institute of Oceanography track the pacific ocean temperature, and in 2018, they found that the water off of Scripps pier (a mere mile away from our shop) was the warmest they’ve ever recorded.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in August 2018. It was revised and updated in December 2019.

Southern California is known for beautiful, sunny, warm weather. People from other parts of the country appreciate the fact that it never snows in San Diego, and even in the middle of winter, the La Jolla weather can still be perfect for a beach day. We love it, but even so, the heat has us worried. Recent years have seen record breaking conditions out in the water.

So what, the water temperature and weather in San Diego are just a bit warmer?

Yes, but in some unusual ways. It’s not uncommon to see San Diego weather averages in the 80’s around the coast and up towards 100 further inland during the summer, but recent temperatures here have gone far beyond what is normal, with serious consequences. The heat is doing more than raising your energy bill—it’s helping bring the ocean temperature to dangerously high levels.

Our friends at Scripps Institute of Oceanography track the pacific ocean temperature, and in 2018, they found that the water off of Scripps pier (a mere mile away from our shop) was the warmest they’ve ever recorded.

(Video) Temperatures break daily records as highs reach the 90s in parts of San Diego County

Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego (3)

Record Breaking Temperatures in San Diego (4)

Scripps Pier, where oceanographers take daily samples of the water

Scripps Pier, where oceanographers take daily samples of the water

These oceanographers have been recording ocean water temperatures in San Diego for 102 years now, and the San Diego Union Tribune reportedin August of 2018 that the water reached 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit, beating out the previous record of 78.4 degrees set in 1931. But while we’re all splashing around in water similar to Hawaii’s with our giant inflatable animals, our friendly neighborhood oceanographers are busy figuring out what’s going on.

According to Scripps, water temperatures here in San Diego have been abnormally warm since 2014 due to a “marine heatwave,” and continued to heat up after a particularly strong El Nino (a temporary change in ocean temperature around the equator resulting in warm weather on the coast).

Then in 2018, according to the National Weather Service a “pesky high pressure system” sat on the southwestern United States, bringing a new atmospheric and marine heat wave to San Diego. Now, in 2019, a marine heat wave has returned. Scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) do not yet know if this new heat wave will match the intensity of what we saw in 2014, but they’re closely following its progress and preparing for its impacts.

As far as enjoying the beach, everyone is stoked about the water temperature in San Diego. We even had local news channel ABC 10 come in to hang out during last year’s heat wave, grab a couple interviews, and go out on a couple of kayaks with us. Check out the segment below:

(Video) San Diego County grappling with record breaking heat

These oceanographers have been recording ocean water temperatures in San Diego for 102 years now, and the San Diego Union Tribune reportedin August of 2018 that the water reached 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit, beating out the previous record of 78.4 degrees set in 1931. But while we’re all splashing around in water similar to Hawaii’s with our giant inflatable animals, our friendly neighborhood oceanographers are busy figuring out what’s going on.

According to Scripps, water temperatures here in San Diego have been abnormally warm since 2014 due to a “marine heatwave,” and continued to heat up after a particularly strong El Nino (a temporary change in ocean temperature around the equator resulting in warm weather on the coast).

Then in 2018, according to the National Weather Service a “pesky high pressure system” sat on the southwestern United States, bringing a new atmospheric and marine heat wave to San Diego. Now, in 2019, a marine heat wave has returned. Scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) do not yet know if this new heat wave will match the intensity of what we saw in 2014, but they’re closely following its progress and preparing for its impacts.

As far as enjoying the beach, everyone is stoked about the water temperature in San Diego. We even had local news channel ABC 10 come in to hang out during last year’s heat wave, grab a couple interviews, and go out on a couple of kayaks with us. Check out the segment below:

Credit: ABC 10News (and shoutout to Peter, one of our managers)

Credit: ABC 10News (and shoutout to Peter, one of our managers)

(Video) Rain, cool temps and snow hits San Diego following record-breaking heat

But while we’re thrilled that people take advantage of these opportunities to enjoy nature, it’s also important to understand the significance of these events. If you’ve joined us at Everyday California, you might have noticed that our tour guides wear shirts that say “#helpthekelp”. Kelp is a keystone species, which means that many other species depend on a healthy kelp forest for survival. If kelp were to disappear, the effects would be widespread and severe. We have absolutely no desire to live in such a future, sowe’ve partnered with GreenWave through 1% for the Planet to support their mission of establishing sustainable kelp farms.

What does the San Diego ocean temperature have to do with kelp? A lot. Kelp is known to be particularly vulnerable to these kinds of temperature changes, and in 2014, kelp started dying in Southern California. Fortunately, the kelp forests rebounded after the heat wave. They’re recovering quickly, but there are still deforested areas where kelp once grew.

And the effects of the heat waves are not limited to the kelp. Harmful algae blooms, sea lion strandings, and huge disruptions to fishing operations have all occurred because of the rising temperatures. As the climate crisis continues, we should expect to see more of these events more frequently.

So go out and enjoy the water. It feels amazing, and we’re always going to encourage people to interact with nature as much as possible. Just don’t forget the larger picture and what’s at stake. The oceans need our help. Let’s get to work.

But while we’re thrilled that people take advantage of these opportunities to enjoy nature, it’s also important to understand the significance of these events. If you’ve joined us at Everyday California, you might have noticed that our tour guides wear shirts that say “#helpthekelp”. Kelp is a keystone species, which means that many other species depend on a healthy kelp forest for survival. If kelp were to disappear, the effects would be widespread and severe. We have absolutely no desire to live in such a future, sowe’ve partnered with GreenWave through 1% for the Planet to support their mission of establishing sustainable kelp farms.

What does the San Diego ocean temperature have to do with kelp? A lot. Kelp is known to be particularly vulnerable to these kinds of temperature changes, and in 2014, kelp started dying in Southern California. Fortunately, the kelp forests rebounded after the heat wave. They’re recovering quickly, but there are still deforested areas where kelp once grew.

And the effects of the heat waves are not limited to the kelp. Harmful algae blooms, sea lion strandings, and huge disruptions to fishing operations have all occurred because of the rising temperatures. As the climate crisis continues, we should expect to see more of these events more frequently.

So go out and enjoy the water. It feels amazing, and we’re always going to encourage people to interact with nature as much as possible. Just don’t forget the larger picture and what’s at stake. The oceans need our help. Let’s get to work.

It's getting hot in here

(Video) Huge crowds flock to San Diego beaches amid record breaking heat

It's getting hot in here

So Check Out All Our Clothes

So Check Out All Our Clothes


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(Video) Massive crowds flock to San Diego beaches amid record breaking heat

FAQs

What's the highest temperature ever recorded in San Diego? ›

The record high temperature at the National Weather Service office in San Diego of 111 °F (44 °C) was on September 26, 1963. The record low temperature was 25 °F (−4 °C) on January 7, 1913.

What is the coldest temperature ever recorded in San Diego? ›

The lowest temperature ever recorded in San Diego, California was 25 °F which occurred on January 7, 1913.

What is California's highest recorded temperature? ›

Death Valley already holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, as well as several runners-up. Officially, Death Valley reached 134 degrees on July 10, 1913.

Is La hotter than San Diego? ›

Los Angeles, California - 65.4 F. Long Beach, California - 64.7 F. San Diego, California - 63.6 F. Lihue, Hawaii - 75.5 F.

Does San Diego reach 100 degrees? ›

Days of Hot Weather in San Diego

Temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C) have appeared on average just once a decade. Indeed, the city typically has only three days a year when the thermometer reaches 90 degrees (32 °C).

Has ever snowed in San Diego? ›

One of the most unique weather events in San Diego history, this footage from 1967 shows some very unusual weather in San Diego. On December 13, 1967, a powerful storm made the temperatures dip low enough that snowflakes were seen all over San Diego County. Do you remember the snow in San Diego?

Why does it never get hot in San Diego? ›

San Diego has a marine climate, strongly influenced by cool Pacific Ocean temperatures that annually range from the upper 50s to upper 60s. As the cool ocean air spreads inland it gradually warms, with much higher temperatures in the inland valleys.

What is the coldest city in California? ›

Using existing weather data, Bodie is officially the coldest spot in California, but colder temperatures do occur on the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada and White mountains. Unfortunately, the lack of high mountain weather stations prevents determining where the coldest spot is located.

What was the hottest day in California 2022? ›

Pulling a cart filled with bottled water and snacks Kim Burrell, left, and Debbie Chang, right, walk the streets of Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. Sacramento set a new record for the highest temperature ever recorded downtown — 116 degrees — as an extreme heatwave continued into another week on Tuesday.

When was the last big earthquake in San Diego? ›

2010 Baja California earthquake
USGS shake map for the mainshock
San Diego Ensenada
USGS-ANSSComCat
Local dateApril 4, 2010
Local time15:40:41
16 more rows

What is the life expectancy in San Diego? ›

The life expectancy has since risen half a decade to 82.7 years in 2019 in San Diego County.

How hot can humans survive? ›

A wet-bulb temperature of 35 °C, or around 95 °F, is pretty much the absolute limit of human tolerance, says Zach Schlader, a physiologist at Indiana University Bloomington. Above that, your body won't be able to lose heat to the environment efficiently enough to maintain its core temperature.

What's the hottest temperature a human can survive? ›

It is commonly held that the maximum temperature at which humans can survive is 108.14-degree Fahrenheit or 42.3-degree Celsius. A higher temperature may denature proteins and cause irreparable damage to brain. Simply put, the human body can turn into a scrambled egg.

Is California the hottest state in America? ›

Florida is the hottest state in the U.S., with an average annual temperature of 71.5°F (21.9°C) between 1991 and 2020. It is the southernmost contiguous U.S. state with a subtropical climate in its northern and central regions and a tropical climate in its southern regions.

Is Florida or California hotter? ›

Florida is the hotter and more humid state when compared to California, you might even want to call it tropical. Although Florida doesn't have as much of a diverse landscape as the Golden State, it has miles of incredible beaches and life is very much focused on the coast.

Is California or Texas hotter? ›

But Texas summers are a lot hotter than they are in Northern California, with its milder climate, diverse geography, and plentiful biking opportunities and outdoor activities, which Backus misses.

Why is San Diego so amazing? ›

San Diego has some of the best beaches in the US. And each beach has its own vibe. Ocean Beach is the hippy beach, Pacific Beach is home to the college crowd, Mission Beach is for the active ones, and La Jolla offers some spectacular cliffs as a backdrop. San Diego is the perfect place for a Beach vacation.

Is Southern California getting hotter? ›

It's hotter than it used to be.

Heightened greenhouse gas emissions have warmed the planet by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. But LA is warming faster than most places, averaging more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than it was in the 19th century. We're heating up more than almost anywhere else in the country.

What is the warmest that the ocean gets in San Diego? ›

The ocean off San Diego reaches its warmest point of the year in August when the temperature averages 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). The coolest month is February, when the sea temperature is normally at 57 °F (14 ° C).

Is San Diego the perfect climate? ›

San Diego ranked No. 1 with 261 "pleasant" days, defined as having an average temperature between 55 to 75 degrees, minimum temperature above 45 degrees and no significant rain or snow.
...
'Pleasant days' index.
Pleasant ranking1
City NameSan Diego
Climate261
Population9
Highest housing prices4
29 more columns
19 Dec 2014

Is San Diego built on a desert? ›

San Diego is located within a coastal desert climate.

Why is the water so cold in San Diego? ›

The reason is a process called upwelling. It's a pretty simple idea. Wind and currents pull the warmer water at the top (warmed by the famous San Diego sunshine of course) away from the beach and that water is replaced by colder water from the bottom of the ocean floor.

What was the wettest year in San Diego? ›

1883-84 – Wettest Rain Year (Jul-Jun) in all San Diego history (25.90″). Moderate El Nino possibly enhanced by effects of Krakatoa eruption. Wettest February in history (9.05″). 1886 – Coldest November in history.

Is San Diego in decline? ›

YES: San Diego's population declined for the first time in nearly 70 years as domestic out-migration accelerated, foreign migration also decreased to a historic low.

Is San Diego warmer than San Francisco? ›

When you compare the typical temperature on the coast, San Diego is usually just a couple of degrees warmer than San Francisco. However, once you go inland, San Francisco can be up to 30 degrees colder. San Francisco is also known for its wind and fog, particularly during the summer.

What's the coldest month in San Diego? ›

San Diego's coldest month is December when the average temperature overnight is 48.9°F. In August, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 77.5°F.

What city in California has the nicest weather? ›

Best weather: San Francisco, CA

It's no surprise that the sun and comfortable temperatures of California place all three best cities of the West in the Golden State. First place goes to San Francisco, with only two days of extreme heat and a low temperature just below freezing at 27 degrees.

What state has the best weather? ›

What state has the best weather? Many cities in southern and central California like San Diego and Santa Barbara have year-round temperatures typically between 60 and 85 degrees and see little rainfall, making California the state with the best weather!

What US city has the best year round weather? ›

The No. 1 city with the best weather in the U.S.? Honolulu, Hawaii. Honolulu took the top spot with an average annual temperature of 77.7 degrees. While the city endures an average of 93 rainy days per year, it also averages 90 sunny days and zero days where the temperature dips below freezing.

How hot will it be in 2030? ›

AUnderstanding Global Warming of 1.5°C*

warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.

Will 2022 be a hotter year? ›

Per NOAA's data, 2022 has been the sixth-warmest year on record from January through August, with a global average temperature 1.55 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. Of the annual records, 2016 remains the warmest, but there is a less than 0.1 percent chance that 2022 manages to exceed that warmth.

Will 2022 be the hottest year yet? ›

While it seems very unlikely that 2022 will be a record warm year for the world as a whole, it still may have many more regional climate extremes in store.

How far would a tsunami go in San Diego? ›

San Diego has 70 miles of coastline that could be hit by a tsunami even after a distant earthquake. An earthquake doesn't need to occur in California for a tsunami to hit the coast. There are more situations that can lead to a tsunami hitting San Diego.

Has a tsunami ever hit San Diego? ›

More than two dozen tsunamis have been recorded in San Diego since 1806, seven of which have caused damage, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tsunami research (see list).

Is San Diego on earthquake fault line? ›

The Rose Canyon fault runs along the coast and beneath downtown San Diego. Geologists say this is the biggest earthquake threat to San Diego, capable of earthquakes of magnitude 6.9. The Elsinore and San Jacinto faults cut through East County and can also generate moderately-sized but potentially damaging earthquakes.

What is a liveable salary in San Diego? ›

Living Wage Calculation for San Diego County, California
1 ADULT2 ADULTS (BOTH WORKING)
0 Children2 Children
Living Wage$22.74$30.95
Poverty Wage$6.19$6.37
Minimum Wage$15.00$15.00

Where does San Diego rank best to live in? ›

Coming in at No. 107 overall, San Diego was named one of the best places to live in California as well as one of the best in the entire country. The city received high marks in several categories, including desirability, job market and quality of life.

Is San Diego the happiest city? ›

(NEXSTAR) – America's Finest City is among the “happiest” in the country, according to a new report, and another part of San Diego County cracked the top 25.
...
These 3 county sites OK'd for affordable housing.
1Fremont, California
9Huntington Beach, California
10San Diego, California
11Fargo, North Dakota
21 more rows
2 Mar 2022

What is the hottest part of your body? ›

Different parts of our body have different temperatures, with the rectum being the warmest (37℃), followed by the ears, urine and the mouth. The armpit (35.9℃) is the coldest part of our body that is usually measured.

What temperature kills a human? ›

The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. At an internal temperature of 95 degrees, humans can experience hypothermia, shivering and pale skin. At 86 degrees, they become unconscious and, at 77 degrees, cardiac arrest can occur. Most people cannot survive if their core temperature drops to 75 degrees.

How hot is too hot for the earth? ›

Raymond says the highest wet-bulb temperature that humans can survive when exposed to the elements for at least six hours is about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Wet-bulb temperatures are on the rise around the world, and Earth's climate has begun to exceed this limit.

What is the hottest day recorded in history? ›

What is the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth? The highest temperature on record belongs to California's Death Valley which, in 1913, reached a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, or 56.7 degrees Celsius, Al Jazeera reports.

What climate is healthiest for humans? ›

Warm, dry, sunny weather without excess heat or cold is immensely beneficial for our mental health.

Why do some people tolerate heat better than others? ›

Body fat. Lean people tolerate heat better than obese people. The more obese a person is, the less skin surface area the person has in relation to his or her weight. Greater surface area provides more exposed skin to perspire and cool the body through evaporation.

What is the 3 hottest state in America? ›

Hottest States in America
RankYearSummer
1FloridaLouisiana
2HawaiiTexas
3LouisianaFlorida
4TexasOklahoma
6 more rows

What state is not too hot and not too cold? ›

1. California

You can't beat the south and central California coast for pleasant temperatures year round. Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria all have average daily highs no lower than the mid-60s for any month of the year. Nor does it get really hot.

What is the most humid state? ›

With Florida being surrounded by the warm Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, and with South Florida being a nearly tropical climate, it is definitely the most humid state in the U.S. Attached is a map of annual average dew point temperatures across the coterminous U.S. The map shows that north Florida has dew point ...

How many days is 90 degrees in San Diego? ›

As a rule of thumb, high temperatures are in the 60's during the winter and spring (December - June) while they are in the 70's during summer and fall (July - November). On average San Diego experiences only 2.5 days per year when the temperature is 90 degrees or above.

Why is San Diego's weather so perfect? ›

San Diego has a marine climate, strongly influenced by cool Pacific Ocean temperatures that annually range from the upper 50s to upper 60s. As the cool ocean air spreads inland it gradually warms, with much higher temperatures in the inland valleys.

What's the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth? ›

What is the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth? The highest temperature on record belongs to California's Death Valley which, in 1913, reached a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, or 56.7 degrees Celsius, Al Jazeera reports.

Why is San Diego beach water so cold? ›

The reason is a process called upwelling. It's a pretty simple idea. Wind and currents pull the warmer water at the top (warmed by the famous San Diego sunshine of course) away from the beach and that water is replaced by colder water from the bottom of the ocean floor.

Is it ever warm enough to swim in San Diego? ›

Water temperatures range from the low 50s in winter to the low 70s in the summer. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the water during non-summer months, you'll want to wear a close-fitting wetsuit.

What city stays 70 degrees year round? ›

Where is it 70 degrees year-round in the U.S.? While temperatures fluctuate throughout the year in most U.S. states, there are some that see averages around 70-degree weather year-round. These states include Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico.

What is San Diego's coldest month? ›

San Diego's coldest month is December when the average temperature overnight is 48.9°F. In August, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 77.5°F.

What is the sunniest city in the US? ›

Phoenix, Arizona

The sun shines 85 percent of the time in Phoenix, making it the sunniest city in the nation.

Why is it so muggy in San Diego? ›

Well, you can blame these hot and humid conditions on monsoons. The monsoon season for us in San Diego can start as early as July but most of the activity is in August and September.

What country has weather similar to California? ›

Spain, in the Mediterranean Basin, is California's climate cousin. On every continent except Antarctica, the west coasts share a similar climate, called the Mediterranean climate. It is characterized by warm to hot summers with basically no rainfall, and winters that are short, mild, and wet.

How hot is too hot for humans? ›

People often point to a study published in 2010 that estimated that a wet-bulb temperature of 35 C – equal to 95 F at 100 percent humidity, or 115 F at 50 percent humidity – would be the upper limit of safety, beyond which the human body can no longer cool itself by evaporating sweat from the surface of the body to ...

What state has never hit 100 degrees? ›

All 50 states have documented a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, including Alaska, while many states – even those as far north as the Canadian border – have recorded temperatures of at least 115 degrees.

How hot can a human survive? ›

It is commonly held that the maximum temperature at which humans can survive is 108.14-degree Fahrenheit or 42.3-degree Celsius. A higher temperature may denature proteins and cause irreparable damage to brain. Simply put, the human body can turn into a scrambled egg.

Videos

1. It's Official — San Diego's Ocean Waters Break Record
(KPBS Public Media)
2. Temps near record-breaking for a second day across San Diego County
(CBS 8 San Diego)
3. Record-breaking heat in San Diego
(ABC 10 News)
4. Record breaking rainfall soaks San Diego County
(CBS 8 San Diego)
5. Massive crowds flock to San Diego beaches amid record breaking heat
(CBS 8 San Diego)
6. La Niña on the way to San Diego for winter following record-breaking hot summer
(CBS 8 San Diego)
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