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February 2019 one of the coldest and wettest in recent history

By Reginald Stanley. Posted March 1, 2019, 11:39 PM.

Across much of Southern California, February 2019 was both considerably wet and significantly colder than average. It was the coldest and wettest February in the region in at least 20 years.

In Temecula, where temperature records date back to 1999, February 2019 was not only the coldest February on record, but also the coldest calendar month - a record previously held by January 2007, where an average month temperature of 49.2 degrees was observed in Temecula. Last month eclipsed that record with an average month temperature of 49.0 degrees in Temecula (the nineteen-year average is 54 degrees). This was largely caused by a long-running trend of cool, rainy days the region experienced during most of the month, which suppressed daily high temperatures. In Temecula, the average high temperature for the month of February is typically around 69 degrees. In 2019, the average high temperature for the month of February in Temecula was only 60.3 degrees - a difference of nearly 9 degrees. Average low temperatures were colder than normal as well, though not as significantly.

Trends were similar at other WeatherCurrents stations in February 2019. WeatherCurrents' station in Murrieta, operating since 2003, the old record of coldest month held by December 2007 was also broken last month. The coldest monthly average temperatures in the WeatherCurrents network were observed in Anza and Pinon Hills, where February 2019 averaged 39.6 degrees and 38.7 degrees, respectively. Even to the northwest, Simi Valley also observed their coldest month. In Downtown Los Angeles, where records date back to 1877, February 2019 was the coldest February since 1962 and also tied with 1891 for eighth-coldest February of all-time. February 2019 also marked a first for Downtown Los Angeles, where the temperature did not reach or exceed 70 degrees at any time during the month - the first such occurrence for February in Downtown Los Angeles in 132 years of historical climate records.

A major role in the region's cold February was held by a series of particularly wet storms that targeted Southern California during most of the month. An impressive 8.69 inches was recorded in Temecula during the month of February this year, making it the wettest February on record there and third-wettest month of all-time, behind January 2005 and December 2010. Out of 28 days this February, measurable precipitation was recorded on 18 of them in Temecula. Temecula's February 2019 total also stands in stark contrast to the previous February, in 2018 - when a mere 0.46 inches was recorded in Temecula for the entire month. Totals were less impressive in nearby Murrieta, where February 2005 was much wetter. The highest February totals were noted in De Luz with 10.18 inches, Fallbrook with 9.12 inches, Lake Elsinore with 9.74 inches, and Hemet with 9.03 inches.

Following a brief, mild drying-out period at the end of the month, a pattern change to wetter weather is taking place. A warm Pacific storm of moderate strength will bring rain to the region Saturday, with snow levels starting high around 9,000 feet above sea level, later falling to 7,000 feet on Sunday. Additional storms are possible next week, which may further drench an already rain-soaked region.

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The French Valley, California weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. French Valley is located in southwestern Riverside County, California, north of Temecula, east of Murrieta, and south of Winchester. French Valley is bordered by Lake Skinner.
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