WATER TEMPERATUREThe water temperature in Southern California varies between 55 degrees and 75 degrees, depending on the time of the year. The California Current is a large ocean current, which dives down the coastline of California from the frigid water of the North Pacific Ocean. It is the main dictator of our water temperatures year round and helps to regulate the generally mild air temperatures Southern California is known for. During the winter months of January and February, the water temperature can drop into the mid fifties. During the summer months of June through September when a change in wind patterns allows warmer water to creep up the coastline from Baja California, the water temperatures can rise into the low seventies.
It is the cooler temperatures of the ocean, which prevent Southern California from experiencing large tropical storms or hurricanes colliding with our coast. However, there have been extreme conditions in the past during El Nino periods when the water temperature in Southern California rose high enough (80 degrees Fahrenheit) to allow a hurricane to brush our coastline. The last hurricane to hit the California coast was in 1939, and was responsible for causing extensive damage to coastal communities of Orange County.