The three warmest cities in California are Indio, Palm Desert, and Palm Springs.
In this article I’m going to share with you my ranking of the warmest places in California.
I created my list by researching data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other climate data providers.
Below I’m listing the top 10 warmest places in California that have the highest average yearly temperatures. Later in the article I share a table with 150 most populous cities in California.
Top 10 Warmest Cities in California
Here are the top 10 warmest places in California ranked by their daily mean temperature. Note that this ranking covers the biggest cities in California. The small village of Furnace Creek holds the record for the hottest temperature ever registered in the world but it’s not a major city. The cities in this ranking and the table have at least 40,000 residents.
1. Indio – daily mean temperature of 75.95 °F
The warmest place in California is the city of Indio and Palm Desert. Because they’re right by each other, they share the same hot desert climate with some of the highest temperatures in California (only the region of Death Valley National Park is much hotter). Indio reaches 106 °F during the day in the summer months, with temperatures dropping to 82 °F at night. Winter, even though much cooler, still provides warm days with temperatures of about 70 °F during the day and crisp 45-47 °F at night. Rain is extremely rare, with most rainfall in the winter.
2. Palm Desert – daily mean temperature of 75.95 °F
Palm Desert and Indio share the same climate. If dry and hot weather is your idea of great weather, then any of these two cities (as well as the neighboring area) will work for you. Just keep in mind that the hottest month (July) comes with really high temperatures that are much more extreme than on the California coast in places like Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, or San Diego, let alone in Northern California in mild Mediterranean climates like that of San Francisco or Bay Area in general.
3. Palm Springs – daily mean temperature of 75.6 °F
The third warmest city in the Golden State is Palm Springs, located 15 miles northwest of Palm Desert. Palm Springs gets even hotter summer days than Indio and Palm Desert (with temperatures up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit higher) but it has cooler nights (by up to 3 degrees as well). Since all three places don’t offer comfortable summer days, Palm Springs has a slightly friendlier climate allowing to cool off a little more when the sun disappears behind the horizon.
4. Cathedral City – daily mean temperature of 74.6 °F
Climate data shows that Cathedral City is a degree cooler than Palm Springs despite being located just a few miles away from Palm Springs. The average hottest day in Cathedral City has a temperature two degrees higher than in Indio and Palm Desert. Like Palm Springs, it has a slightly cooler weather at night.
5. El Centro – daily mean temperature of 74.25 °F
El Centro is located at a very low elevation of 42 feet below sea level, in Southern California, close to the border with Mexico. It has cooler by about 3 degrees nights than the first four cities in this ranking. Other than that, it features the same warm winter temperatures and hot summer temps.
6. Buena Park – daily mean temperature of 68 °F
Buena Park, a city of 84,000 people located within the Los Angeles metropolitan area, is the first place on this list that’s situated close to the ocean and beaches. Along with Anaheim a few miles farther south and Fontana, Whittier, and Montebello, they’re the warmest cities in the Los Angeles region. Buena Park features a climate that’s pleasant most of the year, perhaps except for the July to September period with average high temperatures reaching 89-91 °F. They’re still much more comfortable than in the desert cities, though.
7. Anaheim – daily mean temperature of 67.65 °F
Anaheim has similar weather to Buena Park, only its summer days are cooler by two degrees. Summers are almost devoid of rain, guaranteeing enjoyable beach days. Winters are mild, with cool nights that on average drop to 48-49 °F. Because of the moderating effect of the ocean, they don’t drop as low as temperatures in the desert cities.
8. Fontana – daily mean temperature of 67.4 °F
Fontana is located in San Bernardino County, with mountains to the north and east of the city. This includes Mount San Antonio, the highest peak in Los Angeles County. Unlike the previous cities in the Los Angeles area, Fontana gets much hotter summers with daytime temperatures going to 95-96 °F. Winters are mild but slightly cooler than in Buena Park or Anaheim.
9. Whittier – daily mean temperature of 67.4 °F
Whittier shares its climate with Buena Park. Both places get higher summer temperatures than Anaheim which features the least extreme climate out of the ten cities covered in this ranking.
10. Montebello – daily mean temperature of 67.4 °F
Montebello is the tenth warmest city in the Golden State. Or actually, it ties with the previous two cities and the only reason why it’s tenth it’s because it’s the smallest city out of these three. Montebello shares its climate with Whittier.
150 Biggest Cities in California Ranked by Daily Mean Temperature
I created the table below by researching data for the most populous municipalities in California. When I couldn’t find data for a given city, I moved on to another. While the list includes 150 cities, some of the bigger cities may be missing because there was no data for them. Please check the closest geographically city then.
|City||Average high temperature (°F)||Average low temperature (°F)||Daily mean temperature (°F)|
|San Luis Obispo||69||49||59|
|South San Francisco||66.9||50.6||58.75|
Check the Warmest Cities in Neighboring States
If you’re interested in learning about the warmest cities in states neighboring California, check out the following articles:
- What Are the Warmest Cities in Arizona?
- What Are the Warmest Cities in Nevada?
- What Are the Warmest Cities in Oregon?
For more reading, you may be also interested in my article on the hottest cities in the US or read my article on the best weather outside of California. I also wrote an article on top 10 cooler cities in California.
Frequently Asked Questions
The warmest city in California is Indio and Palm Desert with an average annual temperature of 75.95 °F. The cities offer very mild winters with temperatures reaching 70 °F during the day and uncomfortably high temperatures of 105 °F during the summer. The warmest cities with more comfortable temperature in the summer are Buena Park and Anaheim.
The warmest Californian cities are located in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert and in Orange County in Southern California. They have warm to hot weather year round with daytime temperatures that on average always reach 70 °F, even in the coldest month.
The cities of Buena Park and Anaheim in Orange County, Southern California, offer the mildest winters. Daytime highs go above 71 °F and nighttime temperatures drop on average to 48-50 °F. If you want to escape cold weather, these two places are your best option.
California is colder than Texas. The average temperature for 150 cities in California I researched for this article is 62.9 °F. Meanwhile, for 50 cities in Texas I researched for the article on the warmest cities in Texas, the average temperature is 67.6 °F.
California is noticeably colder than Florida. The average temperature for 150 cities in California I researched for this article is 62.9 °F. Meanwhile, for 100 cities in Florida I researched for the article on the warmest cities in Florida the average temperature is 73.3 °F.
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