Dennis’ Tidbits


December 3, 2019

How did it get so late so soon?

Dennis 5On December 3, 1958, Laguna’s warmest December day occurred when it hit 86 degrees. That record stood until December 12, 1979, when a new record was set when it hit 88 here in town. Both records were set thanks to some very warm Santana winds that blew in from the northeast.

Here on Sunday, the sun set at 4:44 p.m., only one minute away from our earliest sunset of 4:43 which will happen from December 8th-11th and then it will start moving up a minute or so every other day. The sun won’t set at 5 p.m. or later until January 9th. The shortest day of the year occurs on the winter solstice on December 21st with 9 hours and 54 minutes of possible sun time with a sunrise at 6:54 a.m. and the sunset at 4:48 p.m.

Outside of some cirrostratus cover, it was a nice warm Sunday with a high of 70 here in town after a chilly low of 42. The normal hi-lo for December 1st is 66-44.

A new round of rain and snow is expected on late Monday into Tuesday with an inch or more in the lowlands and an additional 6-12 inches of snow in our mountains above about 3,500 ft., which means another nice payload of powder at all of our resort levels. Did I mention that the Resort at Mountain High collected up to three feet of wonderful powder up there in the San Bernardino Mountains from the last storm? They barely had a total of three feet just two winters ago, so we’re off to a great start after a bone dry fall up to last week.

Our 2019-20 rainy season is now ahead of the curve as we’re up to 2.65 inches on the season compared to a normal to date of 1.98 inches. Now it’s December as we enter our four wettest months of the season normally. December averages about 2.65 inches. Our wettest Decembers were 11.65 inches in 2010 thanks to a five-day intense atmospheric river event flooded Laguna during the week leading up to Christmas. The second wettest December occurred in 1997 with 9.89 inches, with 8.08 of that collected during the weekend of December 6-7. 

January averages about 3.11 inches, with the wettest January and the wettest month ever with a whopping 18.81 inches compliments of an eleven-day heavy series of atmospheric rivers also known as the Pineapple Express. January of 1993 was our second wettest with a total of 12.63 inches and third wettest was January of 1995 with 11.77. 

February’s average is 3.15 inches, our wettest month of the year normally. Our wettest Februarys were 15.02 inches in 1997, followed by 13.68 inches in 1962 and 12.75 inches in 1980. Then we have March with an average of 2.52 inches with the wettest March having occurred in 1983 with 10.40 and the second wettest was 9.92 inches in 1938.

Now it’s December and Laguna’s average high-low is 65-43 degrees. Our coldest December reading was 28 in town and 22 out in the canyon on December 10, 1978. December’s normal ocean temp is 58-60, with the coldest at 53 in 1948 and 1978, and the warmest was 65 in 1972 and 1997.

 And there you have it. Lots of stats this time around. We’ll look at the epic December storms of 1997 and 2010 in the next installment on Friday.