Springtime Weather Pattern Taking Hold

The ides of May are upon us.

The uneventful fight between springtime and summertime will characterize our weather the next 7-10 days. For perspective, the average high is 92, the average low is 64 for this date.

The remainder of this week will feel more like early summer, as high pressure moves in over California. High temps will reach or exceed 100 degrees by Thursday or Friday. The high pressure will exert pressure on the 4,000 foot deep marine layer over the nearby coast (note the extensive field of stratus clouds off CA in the image above), eventually reducing it's depth to 1,000-1,500 feet by Thursday and Friday. This isn't deep enough to spread up and over the nearby San Gorgonio Pass (at about 2,500 feet elevation), so afternoon and evening winds are expected to drop in intensity after this evening... and the hazy skies that have been able to blow through the mountain passes may ease up a tad, with improving visibility possible.

By the weekend, weak low pressure systems are expected to move into Northern California, which will allow temperatures to slowly drop back into the 90s during the day, and the 60s at night for our area. As the high pressure weakens, the marine layer inversion will rise once again, allowing cooler marine air to be inhaled into the Coachella Valley during the late afternoon and evening hours. This will bring a return to daily winds in the normally gusty areas north of Vista Chino, as well as the I-10 corridor from Whitewater to Indio, and the highway 62 corridor up into the Joshua Tree area. This is typical for May and June in our area.

By the middle or end of next week, a slightly stronger low pressure system may move into N. California, possibly bringing even cooler weather and more widespread gusts, and a return to more of a springtime weather regime. High temps may drop into the 80's and lows may drop back near 60.


The warm equatorial waters associated with El Nino are cooling quite rapidly off the coast of Mexico and South America. The latest analysis shows temperatures below normal in a growing region (indicated in the blue colors below). An analysis of sub surface water temps show a much larger area of below normal sea surface temps likely to continue growing into the summer and fall months. Scripps Institute has predicted a powerful, possibly record breaking La Nina next winter (i.e. cooler than normal temps along the Equatorial Eastern Pacific)... which historically brings drier than normal weather to California. Since El Nino didn't behave as expected, it is anyone's guess if La Nina will do the same. My guess is the media will begin reporting that the drought will worsen next winter because historical data shows a higher than average chance of it doing so during La Nina. However, we saw how well all of the analysis proved to be this past winter! I'm not betting on ANY long term predictions, since forecasting doesn't seem to be doing a great job with regard to this.

Get out and enjoy the longer days, the warmer nights, and the pool weather... and don't forget to HYDRATE!

For anyone heading up to the Joshua Tree Music Festival this weekend, expect temps up there in the high 80s or low 90s.. and low 50s for the early morning hours, with some breezy conditions in the late afternoon and evening hours.