Average Weather in Columbia California, United States
In Columbia, the summers are hot, arid, and mostly clear and the winters are cold, wet, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 37°F to 89°F and is rarely below 28°F or above 96°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Columbia for warm-weather activities is from mid June to mid September.
The hot season lasts for 3.3 months, from June 9 to September 19, with an average daily high temperature above 82°F. The hottest day of the year is July 18, with an average high of 89°F and low of 63°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.5 months, from November 19 to March 2, with an average daily high temperature below 58°F. The coldest day of the year is December 24, with an average low of 37°F and high of 51°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
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
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In Columbia, 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 Columbia begins around May 16 and lasts for 5.2 months, ending around October 24. On July 28, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 91% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 9% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 24 and lasts for 6.8 months, ending around May 16. On February 21, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 56% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 44% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Columbia varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 5.6 months, from October 30 to April 18, with a greater than 16% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 31% on February 20.
The drier season lasts 6.4 months, from April 18 to October 30. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on August 2.
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 31% on February 20.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
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 of the year. Columbia experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 8.2 months, from September 24 to May 31, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around February 16, with an average total accumulation of 4.4 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.8 months, from May 31 to September 24. The least rain falls around August 8, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The length of the day in Columbia varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2020, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 31 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 14 hours, 49 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:38 AM on June 13, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 49 minutes later at 7:27 AM on October 31. The earliest sunset is at 4:41 PM on December 6, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 47 minutes later at 8:28 PM on June 27.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Columbia during 2020, starting in the spring on March 8, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 1.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2020. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases
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 Columbia, 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
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
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 Columbia does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.4 miles per hour of 5.3 miles per hour throughout.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Columbia varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 1.1 months, from February 19 to March 22, with a peak percentage of 35% on February 20. The wind is most often from the west for 6.5 months, from March 22 to October 6, with a peak percentage of 52% on June 14. The wind is most often from the east for 4.5 months, from October 6 to February 19, with a peak percentage of 46% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Columbia throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Columbia for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid June to mid September, with a peak score in the first week of August.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Columbia for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the third week of July.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Columbia typically lasts for 8.5 months (259 days), from around March 13 to around November 28, rarely starting before January 30 or after April 11, and rarely ending before November 8 or after December 21.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Columbia should appear around March 6, only rarely appearing before February 17 or after March 25.
Growing Degree Days
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 extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from May 8 to August 22, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.3 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 26, with an average of 8.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from November 2 to February 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.5 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 20, with an average of 2.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Columbia are 38.036 deg latitude, -120.401 deg longitude, and 2,142 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Columbia contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,490 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 2,215 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (4,413 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (11,565 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Columbia is covered by shrubs (52%), trees (33%), and grassland (15%), within 10 miles by shrubs (47%) and trees (25%), and within 50 miles by trees (27%) and grassland (26%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Columbia, 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 6 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Columbia.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Columbia 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 Columbia is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Columbia and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Modesto City-County Airport (21%, 67 kilometers, southwest); Castle Airport (20%, 74 kilometers, south); Stockton Metropolitan Airport (19%, 74 kilometers, west); Placerville Airport (24%, 82 kilometers, north); Bridgeport Sonora Junction (9%, 85 kilometers, northeast); and Lake Tahoe Airport (9%, 102 kilometers, north).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , 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 airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.