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Average Weather in Salinas California, United States

In Salinas, the temperature typically varies from 42°F to 72°F over the course of the year, and is rarely below 34°F or above 84°F.

The warm season lasts for 2.5 months, from August 11 to October 26, with an average daily high temperature above 70°F. The hottest day of the year is October 3, with an average high of 72°F and low of 53°F.

The cool season lasts for 2.6 months, from December 1 to February 17, with an average daily high temperature below 63°F. The coldest day of the year is December 30, with an average low of 42°F and high of 60°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature with percentile bands, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecchillychillycoldcoldcoolcoolcomfortablecomfortable
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < chilly < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Sun

The length of the day in Salinas varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 39 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 40 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:47 AM on June 13, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 46 minutes later at 7:33 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:50 PM on December 6, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 39 minutes later at 8:29 PM on June 28.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Salinas during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

The solar day over the course of the year 2017. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Clouds

In Salinas, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Salinas begins around May 21 and lasts for 5.3 months, ending around October 29. On August 7, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 92% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 8% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around October 29 and lasts for 6.7 months, ending around May 21. On February 16, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 52% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 48% of the time.

Cloud Cover

clearerclearercloudiercloudiercloudiercloudier0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecFeb 1652%Feb 1652%Aug 78%Aug 78%May 2131%May 2131%Oct 2931%Oct 2931%overcastovercastpartly cloudypartly cloudymostly clearmostly clearclearclear
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Salinas varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 5.1 months, from November 7 to April 10, with a greater than 15% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 30% on February 20.

The drier season lasts 6.9 months, from April 10 to November 7. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on July 19.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 30% on February 20.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day in the year. Salinas experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 7.2 months, from October 5 to May 10, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around February 15, with an average total accumulation of 3.9 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from May 10 to October 5. The least rain falls around August 3, with and average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The perceived humidity level in Salinas, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels

0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecFeb 170%Feb 170%Sep 270%Sep 270%comfortablecomfortabledrydry
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Salinas experiences mildly seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from February 14 to July 8, with average wind speeds of more than 3.8 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is May 30, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.3 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 7.2 months, from July 8 to February 14. The calmest day of the year is October 21, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.2 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Salinas varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the west for 7.5 months, from March 4 to October 21, with a peak percentage of 86% on August 4. The wind is most often from the north for 4.5 months, from October 21 to March 4, with a peak percentage of 44% on November 15.

Wind Direction

NNWWNN0%20%40%60%80%100%JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecwestwestsouthsoutheasteastnorthnorth
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Water Temperature

Salinas is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.

The average water temperature experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The time of year with warmer water lasts for 2.8 months, from July 31 to October 26, with an average temperature above 58°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is September 21, with an average temperature of 59°F.

The time of year with cooler water lasts for 2.9 months, from March 13 to June 11, with an average temperature below 55°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is May 1, with an average temperature of 53°F.

Average Water Temperature

The daily average water temperature (purple line) with percentile bands, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences very significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from May 6 to August 26, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.2 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 27, with an average of 8.5 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from November 4 to February 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.6 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 2.4 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Salinas are 36.678 deg latitude, -121.656 deg longitude, and 52 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Salinas is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 62 feet, and an average elevation above sea level of 51 feet. Within 10 miles contains large variations in elevation (3,264 feet). Within 50 miles contains extreme variations in elevation (5,863 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Salinas is covered by artificial surfaces (81%) and cropland (18%), within 10 miles by cropland (34%) and grassland (22%), and within 50 miles by water (32%) and grassland (26%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Salinas, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Salinas.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Salinas according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Salinas is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Salinas and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Salinas Municipal Airport (86%, 4.5 kilometers, east), Monterey Regional Airport (9%, 19 kilometers, southwest), and Watsonville Municipal Airport (4.8%, 31 kilometers, north).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .