The National Weather Service confirmed what many people felt last year — hot! Since temperature records have been kept for more than a century, 2014 was the warmest year on record and that includes the Hill. And the drought persists, too.
While NWS has some missing data for Idyllwild, the average temperature was 58.1 degrees, compared to 55.7 in 2013, the next warmest.
Nearly all of Southern California saw record temperatures last year. For example, San Diego’s average was 67.6 degrees and its next highest year was 1984 at 67.2 degrees. Anaheim, Riverside and Vista all experienced record average temperatures in 2014. Even Big Bear, which also has missing data, was nearly a degree warmer than the 49.6 degrees recorded in 1996.
Statewide it was the warmest year since records began being collected in the 19th century. The average was 61.5 degrees, more than 4 degrees warmer than the previous high.
Besides California, Arizona and Nevada recorded record heat. However, from Minnesota and Michigan south to Louisiana, nine states saw record coldness.
NWS also reported that Idyllwild has experienced a deficit of 30.1 inches of rain in the past four years. Since the average is 26.3 inches, that is the equivalent of one season of rain.
The latest NWS drought outlook forecasts a slight improvement in precipitation in the next three months. While the drought will remain constant through January, there will be improvement later in winter. From February through April, the expected precipitation is above average for Southern California and east to New Mexico.