This report describes the historical weather record at the Santa Monica Airport (Santa Monica, California, United States) during 2012. This station has records back to January 1973.
Santa Monica, California has a mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and mild winters. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by built-up areas (39%), oceans and seas (32%), shrublands (21%), and forests (8%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Santa Monica, California during 2012. There were two time changes during 2012:
2012 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 2012 February 29th falls on a Wednesday.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 2012 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Tuesday, 20 March 2012.|
|Summer Solstice||Wednesday, 20 June 2012.|
|Fall Equinox||Saturday, 22 September 2012.|
|Winter Solstice||Friday, 21 December 2012.|
The hottest day of 2012 was September 15, with a high temperature of 93°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 75°F and the high temperature exceeds 82°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 2012 was September with an average daily high temperature of 78°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was March 4. The high temperature that day was 85°F, compared to the average of 65°F, a difference of 20°F. In relative terms the warmest month was September, with an average high temperature of 78°F, compared to an typical value of 75°F.
The longest warm spell was from August 7 to August 15, constituting 9 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of September had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 73% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 2012 was January 18, with a low temperature of 41°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 50°F and the low temperature drops below 44°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 2012 was February with an average daily low temperature of 48°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was March 8. The low temperature that day was 41°F, compared to the average of 52°F, a difference of 11°F. In relative terms the coldest month was March, with an average low temperature of 49°F, compared to an typical value of 53°F.
The longest cold spell was from June 17 to July 13, constituting 27 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of July had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 94% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The clearest month of 2012 was September, with 90% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from August 2 to August 23, constituting 22 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 2012 was June, with 53% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from June 9 to June 22, constituting 14 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.
This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.
The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was November 30. That day saw 0.996" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.066". The month with the most precipitation was December, with 2.941", compared to a median value of 1.730".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from July 31 to September 18, constituting 50 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month August were completely without measured precipitation.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was December, with 58% of days reporting some measured precipitation.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 2012 with the most precipitation observations was March 25. There were 12 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was December, with 39 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from July 13 to October 11, constituting 91 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The months June, August, and September were completely without observed precipitation.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was December, with 39% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
Either snow is exceptionally rare at this location or this station did not reliably report it during 2012.
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 2012 was January with an average daily low humidity of 32%, and the most humid month was July with an average daily low humidity of 60%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 2012, January had 13 dry days, 18 comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 10 dry days, 20 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 31 comfortable days, and no humid days; and October had 1 dry day, 30 comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 21 mph, occurring on March 25; the highest daily mean wind speed was 10 mph (March 17); and the highest wind gust speed was 37 mph (April 6).
The windiest month was April, with an average wind speed of 5 mph. The least windy month was November, with an average wind speed of 3 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 2012 with the lowest average visibility was November 23, with an average visibility of 1.6 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was November, with an average visibility of 7.9 mi. With an average visibility of 9.7 mi, the month of August had the highest average visibility.
The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.
The day of 2012 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January 1, with an average cloud ceiling of 98'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was August, with an average cloud ceiling of 887'. The month of February has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 3276'.