I often say the weather is weird here in Southern California, home to moderate temperatures somewhere between mild temperate and subtropical. But this winter–about to end, according to the calendar–has been weirder than most.
After not having a single day when the high temperature was below 60F through February 17, we have had seven since that date, including 51 on March 11. That was the lowest high I have seen in over a decade of daily temperature record-keeping in Carlsbad (by the sea, where highs below 60 are more common than here, but highs below about 56 much less so) and Ladera Frutal. The day at 51 (most of the daylight hours of which was spent between 45 and 47) was during that storm system that was promised to be cold, and it delivered. As I have lamented before, such weather would be great in January, but is somewhere between useless (for the deciduous trees’ chilling accumulation) and harmful (for already-open buds and for the subtropicals) when it comes in March, after warm weather in the previous months has gotten things growing again.
About the chilling. Even before the mid-March blast of cold air, we had certainly reached 600 hours in the open air of the lower reaches, and perhaps 650+ in the “cheat” zone. And the Moorpark (600 hours needed, say the catalogues) is gearing up to bloom!