The El Cajon Microclimate

in Environment

Located in a Valley surrounded by mountains in San Diego County, California, El Cajon, California is home to 100,116 people. Named for the Spanish phrase meaning “the big box,” the El Cajon climate is truly unique. Covering an area of 14.4 square miles, the city in the southern California valley is bordered by San Diego and La Mesa to the west, Santee to the north, Spring Valley to the south and San Diego County to the east. The clash of different weather and climate patterns from the surrounding areas has created an El Cajon microclimate.

A microclimate is an isolated area where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The size of microclimates can vary, but they often exist near bodies of water, urban areas or areas with steep slopes. Similar to other places along the Southern California coast, the El Cajon microclimate has greater extremes compared to San Diego on the coast.

The El Cajon microclimate is something of a mixture of a Mediterranean climate and a semi-arid climate. As you travel east from the Pacific coast, the area gets more arid until reaching the mountains, where orographic uplift causes more rain and snow. The El Cajon microclimate is often referred to as the arid Mediterranean or semi-arid Steppe.

The El Cajon microclimate sees warm temperatures during the summer and cooler temperatures in the winter. The summer temperature averages 70.1 degrees Fahrenheit and the winter temperature averages out to 55.5 degrees.

The temperatures between the day and night do not make huge jumps. Summers see an average temperature difference of 24 degrees and winters have a 26 degree difference between day and night. You’ll find August is the warmest month, with an average maximum temperature of 88.1 degrees. The record high temperature for El Cajon was 113 degrees Fahrenheit, and the record low sank to 19 degrees.

Rainfall and other precipitation is rather consistent throughout the winter months and rare during the summer. March sees the most precipitation with an average rainfall of 2.66 inches.

The annual average precipitation at El Cajon is 11.96 inches (30.4 cm). Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the winter months, but rare in summer. The wettest month of the year is March with an average rainfall of 2.66 inches (6.8 cm).

The El Cajon microclimate is similar to other places throughout Southern California, but if you travel a relatively short distance to the west or east you will encounter a much different climate. It’s just one more thing that makes El Cajon unique and fascinating!

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The El Cajon Microclimate

This article was published on 2012/02/11
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