It’s not uncommon for many Californians to experience triple-digit heat during the summer months. And with the hottest place on earth – Death Valley – being in California, it might be hard to believe some places in the state haven’t ever reached 100 degrees.
It’s true – over half a dozen areas haven’t recorded a temperature above 99 degrees. In one, Eureka, a temperature above 90 hasn’t even been recorded, data from the National Weather Service site there shows.
Crescent City and Aspendell have reported max temperatures of 95 while Fort Bragg and Grant Grove have topped out at 91.
The closest to reaching 100 degrees is Big Bear Lake, which reported a temperature of 98 degrees in June 1994, according to weather records. Close behind are the Blue Canyon Nyack Airport and Manzanita Lake, both of which have high temperatures of 97 degrees.
As the interactive map above shows, most of these areas are found in the northern portion of California.
For three of these sites – Crescent City, Eureka, and Fort Bragg – their proximity to the Pacific Ocean helps to keep them from reaching triple-digit heat.
“Each of these sites are coastal and moderated by the Pacific Ocean,” Brian Garcia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay office, explains to Nexstar. “The summer time brings low clouds and fog to the coast which help to keep the temperatures very moderated.”
These areas will typically see their warmest temperatures in the fall, according to Garcia, “when offshore winds move from land to sea, and slide down the mountains causing warming of the air and causing the temperature to spike.” Still, when these areas do experience hotter temperatures, it doesn’t last long.
“Hot air rises, so as the coastal areas warm up it causes lifting of the air and a ‘void’ to be filled, which is done by the air over the ocean which is cooler. So the cool ocean air rushes in and keeps the temperature from getting too hot,” Garcia says.
For four other sites – Aspendell, Blue Canyon’s airport, Grant Grove, and Manzanita Lake – elevation is the driving factor for cooler temperatures. Basically, Garcia says “they are too high up” to reach that 100 degree mark.
“When we get strong high pressure it warms the air mass from the ground up to a given height, which is dependent upon the strength of the high pressure and the latitude of the location,” he explains.
Most of California saw a warmer than usual June, according to the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office. States primarily west of the Mississippi River, including California, have “at least a slight chance” to see excessive heat next week as well.
Portions of northern California, including Crescent City, Eureka, and Fort Bragg, could see temperatures below average during the month of July, the latest outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows. The rest of the state has an equal chance of seeing temperatures above or below normal.