California logs hottest winter ever
March 18, 2014
California has just completed the hottest winter in the state’s history. [Mercury News]
The average temperature statewide for December, January and February was 48.0 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The previous high for those months was 47.2 degrees, which occurred in 1980-81.
“When we talk about differences across a state by seasons, we’re usually talking about tenths of a degree,” said Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist. “So the fact that California beat is record by almost one entire degree is a pretty large jump.
Though not included in the winter calculations, temperatures in March have risen as well. Temperatures eclipsed 90 degrees in parts of San Luis Obispo County on Sunday.
That also happened once in January, when San Luis Obispo recorded the national high of 91 degrees.
This past winter was also the third driest in California’s history, according to NOAA.
“When the atmosphere is drier, it tends to be warmer during the day,” Crouch said. “It takes more energy to warm moist air than it does to warm dry air.”