Average Weather in El Centro California, United States
In El Centro, the summers are sweltering and arid, the winters are cool and dry, and it is mostly clear year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 42°F to 107°F and is rarely below 35°F or above 113°F.
Based on the beach/pool score, the best times of year to visit El Centro for hot-weather activities are from early June to late July and from mid August to late September.
The hot season lasts for 3.6 months, from June 4 to September 22, with an average daily high temperature above 99°F. The hottest day of the year is July 23, with an average high of 107°F and low of 80°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.1 months, from November 20 to February 25, with an average daily high temperature below 76°F. The coldest day of the year is December 28, with an average low of 42°F and high of 68°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
In El Centro, 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 El Centro begins around April 5 and lasts for 6.9 months, ending around November 3. On September 18, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 90% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 10% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 3 and lasts for 5.1 months, ending around April 5. On February 20, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 35% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 65% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in El Centro varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 7.7 months, from August 10 to April 2, with a greater than 6% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 11% on February 17.
The drier season lasts 4.3 months, from April 2 to August 10. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on June 13.
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 11% on February 17.
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. El Centro experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 3.4 months, from December 3 to March 17, 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 0.8 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 8.6 months, from March 17 to December 3. The least rain falls around June 13, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The length of the day in El Centro varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 59 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 19 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:33 AM on June 11, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 28 minutes later at 7:01 AM on November 3. The earliest sunset is at 4:35 PM on December 4, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 19 minutes later at 7:54 PM on June 29.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in El Centro during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
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.
El Centro experiences significant seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from June 27 to September 24, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 9% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is August 12, with muggy conditions 36% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is December 12, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
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 El Centro experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 3.8 months, from March 16 to July 11, with average wind speeds of more than 8.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is May 7, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.5 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 8.2 months, from July 11 to March 16. The calmest day of the year is January 11, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.4 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in El Centro varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the west for 9.1 months, from February 7 to November 9, with a peak percentage of 71% on May 22. The wind is most often from the north for 2.9 months, from November 9 to February 7, with a peak percentage of 58% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in El Centro 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 times of year to visit El Centro for general outdoor tourist activities are from early April to late June and from mid September to late October, with a peak score in the second week of May.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit El Centro for hot-weather activities are from early June to late July and from mid August to late September, with a peak score in the last week of June.
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).
While it does not do so every year, freezing temperatures are seen in El Centro over some winters. The day least likely to be in the growing season is January 3, with a 65% chance.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
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 El Centro should appear around January 14, only rarely appearing before January 11 or after January 18.
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 3.4 months, from April 19 to July 31, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.5 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 12, with an average of 8.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.1 months, from November 5 to February 8, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 4.3 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 3.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of El Centro are 32.792 deg latitude, -115.563 deg longitude, and -36 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of El Centro is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 30 feet and an average elevation above sea level of -36 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (164 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (6,565 feet).
The area within 2 miles of El Centro is covered by cropland (38%), shrubs (36%), and artificial surfaces (26%), within 10 miles by cropland (89%), and within 50 miles by shrubs (49%) and bare soil (21%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in El Centro, 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 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in El Centro.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and El Centro 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 El Centro is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between El Centro and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Imperial County Airport (95%, 4.9 kilometers, north) and General Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada International Airport (5%, 35 kilometers, southeast).
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 .
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.