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Southern California's summer to end with a chill: It was the coldest in decades

September 21, 2010 |  7:26 am


Farewell summer, we hardly knew ye!

The last day of summer is Wednesday, but meteorologists say the season barely bothered to show up in the region this year. So cooler fall will make an almost noiseless entrance Thursday, hardly indistinguishable from the summer Southern Californians just experienced.

“Summer played hooky on us. It never really showed up,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge. “We leaped from spring to fall.”

Patzert said a low-pressure trough that stalled along the West Coast from Alaska to southern Baja California kept the summer cooler than usual, with many overcast days. Monthly temperatures in downtown Los Angeles from April to now have averaged between one to three degrees cooler than normal.

Patzert said it’s one of the coolest summers in decades.

Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said that LAX tied the coldest average temperature for August on record, going back to 1944. 

The Santa Barbara airport also broke a record for coolest August, she said. The weather service is predicting a La Nina cycle that could mean drier-than-normal conditions. That isn’t always the case during La Nina, said Meier. But more often than not it is, she said.

Thoughout the summer, communities across Southern California set record low temperatures, notably Los Angeles International Airport and other coastal areas.

-- Hector Becerra

Photo: Children play in San Bernardino County. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times