Parts of California have a cold winter, with many of the mountains providing opportunities for winter sports, despite average daily temperatures reaching 19 °C (66 °F) on the coast, and sun seekers will find that southern California has relatively dry sunny winters. Daily average sunshine is about 8 hours, whilst as many as 24 days on average are dry.
The onset of spring removes the last of the snow from the mountains, but it is a very dry season. As many as 30 dry days may be recorded on average. The season is quite sunny, with some 9 hours of sunshine on average. Temperatures are generally little different to the winter months, although by May, daily average maxima are up to about 20 °C (68 °F).
California is a state of contrasts in the summer months. Extreme temperatures can be found in Death Valley (up to 46 °C - 115 °F), whilst San Francisco has cool summers due to onshore breezes and sea fog, and Los Angeles suffers extensively from smog. The average daily maximum temperatures at these cities are 21-24 °C (70-75 °F), the average daily sunshine is 10-12 hours, and dryness is again a key factor, in many instances no rain being recorded at all.
The autumn (or 'fall') months are still warm, with average daily maximum temperatures attaining a comfortable 22-24 °C (72-75 °F), between 8 and 10 hours of sunshine occurring, and about 28 dry days on average.
Last updated: 17 December 2013