Climate Zones for San Diego

Real Estate Agent with, Inc.
People hear a lot about the climate in San Diego, but did you know that the west part of San Diego has FOUR climate zones? Depending upon where you buy a house, there can be substantial differences in your climate experience there, and things like air conditioning can matter in one zone and not another. Here's a quick list of the zones that scientists have identified by looking at empirical temperature and humidity data:

Zone Coverage Climate
1. Marine Zone The marine zone extends to six or so miles from the coast, but is characterized by being less than 400 feet in elevation. This area is dominated by the ocean, and the ocean conditions pretty much dictate what the Marine Zone is experiencing. Temperature changes are far less day to night than the other zones, there is less seasonal change. Much higher humidity and summer fog.
2. Coastal Zone The coastal zone extends from the maritime zone for another eight to thirty miles, and sits at higher land elevations. This area is far away (and at high enough elevation) that it is no longer dominated by the ocean like the marine zone; however, it is certainly influenced by it and the cool breezes that come off the ocean. Though the temperatures fluctuate daily more than the marine zone, they are definitely buffered by marine climate.
3. Transitional Zone This area is found in valleys, foothills and low mountain ranges between the coastal zone and interior zone. Depending upon local weather events (e.g., direction of the wind), the transitional zone can seem more like the coastal zone one day and the interior zone the next. If affected by weather from the interior zone, residents can see both cold and hot temperatures.
4. Interior Zone The primary factor is the distance from the ocean rather than particular topography. Because the interior zone is so far removed from the marine zone, there is little influence from the ocean. The interior zone experiences large daily and seasonal temperature change, and is air is typically dry/warm in the summer. Nightime temperatures will fall, causing dew.
5. Desert Zone Past the interior zone and mostly in the East part of the County is the desert zone. The air is very dry and residents see large temperature changes. This zone is not shown on the map as it is too far inland.

The last of the four zones, the desert zone, is further inland, well past the city of San Diego. To help people better understand where the climate zones are for purposes of home buying, we created a micro-climate zone map that shows the zone lines identified by the scientists. Click here to visit the Encinitas and Carlsbad web site micro-climate web page. The web page also has some iother information in addition to the map.

Call me at 760-942-4242 if you have any questions.

Margaret Hokkanen


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Isabel Miller

I am moving to Oceanside California to avoid the heat in Los Angeles. Since I am moving this month I am unable to tell where the milder summer days turn to hot Summer daysI am talking about the difference between a mild high of 75°F and avoiding areas where it usually gets up above 85 degrees in the day. (for instance, Thousand Oaks California is farther away from the ocean than Woodland Hills California, but there are no mountains between the ocean and thousand oaks. In Woodland Hills, there are the Topanga mountains which block the ocean air from reaching the San Fernando Valley. It can be 100° in Woodland Hills and 70° in Santa Monica on most summer days. Where does it start getting hot in Oceanside? Would you please tell me the name of some of the main streets where it starts to get warmer and then where it is too hot? We are two weeks into escrow and I would really appreciate any answer to this question.

Jan 02, 2015 05:46 AM #1
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Margaret Hokkanen

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