We know the question on your mind, San Diegans — when is it truly going to feel like winter? Thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, we know what temperatures and precipitation trends to expect in SD for December, January, and February.
While exact weather conditions typically can’t be predicted more than a week in advance, here’s a seasonal outlook to help you prepare for what winter will bring.
Reminder: Winter begins at 7:27 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2023.
Think slightly warm. This winter, San Diego has a 33-40% chance of temps leaning above normal.
Keep that umbrella handy. NOAA predicts a 40-50% chance of precipitation leaning above normal for SD this winter. El Niño conditions are expected to gradually strengthen into the winter, although the intensity is difficult to gauge.
Drought conditions are likely being kept at bay. January-October 2023 made for the 12th wettest year to date in San Diego County in the past 129 years, although October 2023 was the 23rd driest on record.
Drizzlin’ in December
San Diegans know we have it good when it comes to winter: The average high temperature in December is 63.3°. It’s typically the month with the most rainfall — 5.8 days, or up to 1.65 inches of total rain — and the shortest days with 10 hours of daylight.
Keeping it cool in January
SD usually kicks off the new year with slightly cooler temperatures and rain: An average high of 63.1° and 1.06 inches of accumulated precipitation in January. This month is known to bring higher humidity — approx. 60%. Combined with cooler temps on land and sea, this could make the weather feel colder than it is. January-March have the lowest UV Index, but sunscreen is always a good idea.
Chillin’ in February
February usually brings the coldest temps: An average high of 63.1° and low of 51.8°. Average ocean temperatures dip to 58.7° — the coldest month of the year for SD’s seawater. Relative humidity increases to 64%, so scattered showers could become more frequent. At just over 11 hours, the days are getting slightly longer.