If you plan to travel to Palm Springs and the California desert resort cities, there are some things you need to know about the winter weather. The City of Palm Springs and the greater Coachella Valley area is located on the southwest edge of the Colorado desert, just below the threshold of where the Colorado and Mojave Deserts converge. The air quality in Palm Springs is among the best in Southern California throughout the year, with Ozone and PM10 staying in the good range virtually all the time. As for precipitation, it is very unlikely you’ll see any rain during your visit, with the annual amount of rainfall just over five inches a year. The rainfall is distributed pretty well throughout the year.
I also learned while taking flying lessons, what makes this area even more unique is that you have marine layer coming in from the San Gorgonio pass, which confronts the warmer desert air flow. This can set the stage for some unique weather patterns, known as thermals. This is a real learning experience for those taking flying lessons with thermal activity giving student pilots practice for maintaining the same altitude.
In the winter time, during the months of roughly November through February, daytime temperatures are ideal with highs in the upper seventies to lower eighties. Be sure to pack a couple pair of shorts and some tee shirts because you’ll be able to wear them while seeing the many attractions in Palm Springs. What makes things even more interesting is that you can be lying out in eighty degree temperatures at poolside getting some sun, and look up at the snow covered San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Mountains.
Now if you plan to visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that is an entirely different story. Once you reach the Tram’s Mountain station at the top of San Gorgonio, you’ll be at an elevation of over eight thousand feet, which makes for some very different weather conditions. You are definitely going to need winter clothes that include long johns, scarves, and mittens. At the top of the trap, you’ll experience daytime temperatures in the lower to mid-thirties and a “wind chill factor” that can drop below freezing.
Once the sun goes behind the San Jacinto Mountain during the evening hours, temperatures can take a dip. You will need a jacket or coat to wear when you go out to dinner. While rare, there are times when it gets cold at night with temperatures dipping below forty degrees, even on the desert floor, but that doesn’t happen that often.
All – in – all, winter in Palm Springs is one of the most beautiful times of year. With snow in the mountains and temperatures that often reach 80 on the desert floor, you can see why Palm Springs and the California desert resort cities is a popular winter destination for people all over the world.